Wait, don’t tell me. I think I’ve got it: One’s a barroom and the other is a brrrrroom. No, come to think of it, that’s the answer to the riddle “What’s the difference between a tavern and a fart?”
So what is the difference between wearing pants and wearing a mask in the supermarket? Let’s go the riddler himself, CNN anchor Don Lemon. A transcript of the relevant portion of the video follows:
I always— it’s interesting to me when I see the people yelling in the supermarket or wherever, saying “You can’t tell me to wear a mask!” And I always say, “Can’t they tell you to wear pants?” What’s the difference? You can’t go in the store naked. No shoes, no shirt, no service. What’s the difference, Chris?
Let me stop here to note that right off the bat: This not a terribly cerebral or difficult-to-grasp distinction. The definition of nudity does not include a lack of facial covering. People who walk around without a mask in localities that legally enforce the wearing of one during the COVID-19 pandemic may be detained or arrested. But it won’t be for indecent exposure, the charge likely to be leveled at them if they walk around with pants.
To his credit, Lemon’s soulmate, Chris Cuomo, appreciates and makes an attempt at elucidating this not terribly subtle difference:
Chris Cuomo: Well, I think the difference would be to argue their cause. One is about human decency and social mores. And the mask, they would say, doesn’t meet that level, so the mask would not be necessary.
Don Lemon: [Initially talking over Cuomo] So I could go in the supermarket tomorrow if I want to without my pants on and say, “This is my right. I want to liberate. This is my constitutional right as an American to be who I am and I can walk around this way.”
The initial question and the exchange that follows explain much about Don Lemon. They explain previous comments of his such as his observation on Antifa that “no organization is perfect.” Or his assertion that the Trump administration’s border policy is all about whites “losing their privilege.”
Lemon’s annual salary, according to Gossip Gist, is $125,000. I assume his job description includes the ability to rationally debate an issue. I’m just wondering if CNN couldn’t get more bang for its buck.