CNN isn’t exactly known for espousing conservative talking points — quite the opposite, in fact.
So when the typically liberal-leaning Don Lemon made an argument that you would expect to hear in conservative circles, it wasn’t a huge surprise that his co-hosts lost it.
But what, pray tell, did Lemon say that got his colleagues so riled up? He simply shared some basic economics and how it impacts men’s pay and women’s pay when it comes to the sports world.
Lemon and his fellow “CNN This Morning” hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins were discussing the ongoing controversy involving the forced equal pay of the U.S. men’s and women’s soccer teams.
“I know everyone’s going to hate me,” Lemon began. “But the men’s team makes more money. If they make more money, then they should get more money. … The men’s team makes more money because people are more interested in the men.”
Don Lemon: “The men’s team makes more money because you know what…people are more interested in it.” pic.twitter.com/jw5w3kldat
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) December 1, 2022
That’s when Harlow jumped in to pin the blame on big media companies, not unlike CNN’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, which is quite cozy with the NBA, but not so much the WNBA.
Harlow brought up the WNBA, in fact, before Lemon retorted, “There’s also more interest in the NBA.”
“Allow people to see [women’s sports] more and gain more fans, then you will push toward more equality,” Harlow argued.
Harlow’s questionable premise notwithstanding, her remarks are a good representation of one of the more common arguments you’ll hear when it comes to men’s versus women’s sports.
The other common argument you’ll hear is that the USWNT is “more skilled” than the USMNT.
“You’re right that not everyone has the same skills because the women are better skilled,” Collins told Lemon. Harlow responded with, “Mic drop.”
— Barney Brooks (@BarneyBroox) December 1, 2022
Unfortunately for both Collins and Harlow, their premise is, once again, faulty.
If you want to argue that the USWNT has had more success in international soccer, that’s true. But it’s also true that women’s soccer simply does not have the same level of talent that men’s soccer does.
If you need proof of this, look no further than the USWNT getting trounced 5-2 by the FC Dallas men’s soccer team — excuse me, the FC Dallas under-15 boys’ academy team.
Collins’ and Harlow’s line of thinking is missing the crucial context that CNN loves so much.
“The women are better skilled against other women,” Lemon said in response to Collins. “But if the women played the men, they wouldn’t be winning the way that they win.”
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