Don Lemon is supposedly guilty of misogyny for his comment about Nikki Haley being past her prime. Conservatives are particularly eager to call him out on his faux pas. For their part, conservative inc. cannot resist an opportunity to be seen as attacking Democrats for offending…liberal sensibilities. Ironic that they feel this way.
Before the context gets lost, let’s remember that Haley said almost exactly the same thing directed at Biden and Trump at her rally in Charleston:
"America is not past our prime. It's just that our politicians are past theirs...We won't win the fight for the 21st century if we keep trusting politicians from the 20th century."
Haley further suggested there should be some kind of mental competency tests for politicians over the age of 75. Simply stated, she introduced the age issue.
This begs the question: Why did Don Lemon even apologize?
This all began with Haley’s cringeworthy campaign launch video for her futile and self-indulgent presidential campaign. Haley made a point to position herself as a “new generation” of leaders:
Lemon simply pointed out on CNN that while Haley is taking digs at Trump and Biden for being old, she is kind of old too. True, Biden is 80 and Trump is 76. They are senior citizens with much accumulated wisdom. But Haley, as Lemon reminds us, is “not in her prime” either:
“This whole talk about age makes me uncomfortable. I think it’s the wrong road to go down. Politicians or something are not in their prime. Well, Nikki Haley is not in her prime. Sorry. A woman is considered in her prime in her 20s, and 30s, and maybe 40s.”
Megyn Kelly was one of many on the right to jump in, calling out the “sexism”:
Kelly gives examples of successful female politicians over 40 and 50, such as British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. But that’s not really the point. Lemon was talking about attractiveness, frankly, which tends to track with fertility. One intuits that Lemon is referring to “prime” in the sense of “prime sexual market value.” This is not to say attractiveness is limited to young women, but it’s not like Lemon is making this up. Google it!
Kelly herself is a good example that middle-aged women can indeed still be attractive. Yet why get all hot and bothered now? No one raises an eyebrow about Biden or Trump’s advanced age being derided. It’s quite the double standard. This begs the question: Why did Don Lemon even apologize? Don’t apologize, Don!
Granted, it’s kind of uncalled for by Lemon. But if Haley is going to throw elbows at Trump and Biden for their age, if she’s marketing herself as the “new generation”; it’s kind of funny to point out she’s not really that young. The fact that this is the comment that makes conservative indignant is just a little rich.