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Don Lemon to Bachmanns: Don’t Get Pushy!

by Kilian Melloy
Monday Aug 15, 2011

Openly gay CNN news anchor Don Lemon says that he was elbowed and shoved by Michele Bachmann's husband, and by her campaign staffers, as he tried to interview Marcus Bachmann, Opposing Views reported on Aug. 14.

According to Lemon, the newsman had approached Michele Bachmann in order pose "respectful" questions to her after an Iowa appearance on Aug. 12. But the GOP presidential hopeful's husband and some of her staff shoved Lemon into a golf cart that was parked nearby, according to Lemon.

According to Lemon, the staffers started shoving and elbowing him as he attempted to speak with Michele Bachmann. When he protested, Bachmann's hulking husband joined in.

"I told them, asked them not to elbow me," Lemon told CNN viewers, Opposing Views reported. "And then her husband Marcus started doing the same thing. And then he elbowed me into the cart.

"And I said, 'You just pushed me into the cart,' " Lemon continued. "And he goes, 'No, you did it yourself.' It was just, I don't know, why they would choose to do that."

"Our number one priority is the safety and protection of Michele Bachmann," one of the staffers in question, Bachmann's press secretary Alice Stewart, said, according to the Atlantic Wire.

"Michele Bachmann was supposed to show up at 5:00 and speak for about twenty minutes, as all the candidates have done," Lemon told viewers in his on-air report. "She showed up at about 5:30 and spoke for about three minutes." After her brief appearance, Bachmann and her staff pushed through the crowd.

"Clearly, this was an embarrassing display in their part," Lemon added, going on to call the incident "unfitting."

Lemon came out as gay earlier this year. Michele Bachmann has spoken of gays as having "sad" lives that are almost always the result of abuse. A recent ABC News segment investigated claims that Marcus Bachmann's two Christian counseling clinics promote so-called "reparative therapy," a religiously based mode of therapy that purports to "cure" homosexuality as though it were some form of pathological condition.

Reputable mental health professionals warn that reparative therapy is not effective, and can cause more harm than good.

But Marcus Bachmann told a Christian radio program last year that gays are "barbarians" who need "discipline." He also suggested that he himself was qualified to dole out a strong hand to GLBTs. declaring himself an "authority figure" and laying out his vision for how to treat "sinful" GLBTs.

"We have to understand: Barbarians need to be educated," Marcus Bachmann said on the May 12, 2010 broadcast of "Point of View," a radio show that purports to promote a "biblical Christian worldview."

"They need to be disciplined," Bachmann continued. "Just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn't mean that we are supposed to go down that road. That's what is called the sinful nature. We have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings from moving into the action steps."

Marcus Bachmann has since claimed that his comments were taken out of context and said that some of the remarks he made were re-edited in a way that makes him sound as though he had made statements that he did not, he says, make at all.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


  • , 2011-08-15 15:36:56

    Sounds like Presidential Family material to me. (NOT)

  • That Long Beach guy, 2011-08-15 23:25:02

    Once again Republicans are out of touch with reality. If the "elbowing" situation were reversed you would almost certainly see the perpetrator sued for assault. The Republican party is not dissimilar from Muslim extremists who want to force people to their version of god. Why are candidates running on a platform of religion? This is a secular society not a religious state. Why does the GOP insist on using hate as one of the planks in their platform?

  • , 2011-08-16 10:51:53

    Hopefully CNN has tape of that incident. Bachmann’s handlers an her pimp don’t want the media getting too close for fear of someone asking an intelligent question. It’s amazing how all these ’people of God’ have no regard for the law or the civil liberties of anyone else.

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