Last night, CNN's Don Lemon interviewed Bill Cosby rape accuser Joan Tarshis, ultimately asking Tarshis if she had considered biting the comedian's penis during an alleged sexual assault in 1969. He has since issued an apology for his line of questioning.
"A word about my interview last night with Cosby accuser Joan Tarshis," Lemon said today on CNN. "As I am a victim myself, I would never want to suggest that any victim could have prevented a rape. If my question to her struck anyone as insensitive, I am sorry as that certainly was not my intention."
In 2010, Lemon said that he was a victim of a pedophile.
Tarshis had appeared on CNN Tuesday for an interview with Lemon, with the discussion quickly turning to details of the sexual assault she allegedly suffered. The exchange went as follows:
Lemon: Can I ask you this? Because…And I don't mean to be crude, OK?
Lemon: Because I know some of you — and you said this last night — that he…You lied to him and said "I have an infection, and if you rape me, or if you do, if you have intercourse with me, you will probably get it and give it to your wife."
Lemon: And you said he made you perform oral sex.
Lemon: You…You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you don't want to do it.
Tarshis: Ah, um, I was kind of stoned at the time. And quite honestly, that didn't even enter my mind. Now I wish it would have.
Lemon: Right, meaning the use of the teeth. Right?
Tarshis: Yes, that's what I'm thinking you're—
Lemon: As a weapon.
Tarshis: Yea, I didn't even think of it.
Lemon: Biting. So, um—
Lemon: Yes, I had to ask. I mean…it is…yeah.
Tarshis: Yes. No, it didn't cross my mind.
The Internet seized upon the exchange, admonishing Lemon for his offensive line of questioning. Eventually, as with most things online, it was turned into a meme. Shortly after the interview, the #DonLemonReporting hashtag was born:
Watch the interview between Lemon and Tarshis below: