CNN’s Don Lemon Admits He “Talks to Audience ABOUT The News,” Doesn’t Do “Straight Newscasts”

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CNN anchor Don Lemon conceded in a recent interview that although he is billed as an unbiased news caster, he is anything but.

When compared to a fellow anchor in NBC’s Lester Holt, Lemon was quick to define the differences between the two and the way they ‘report’ on the news. He stated:

I am a news anchor, but I don’t do what Lester Holt does. This isn’t a criticism, just trying to show you the difference. I love and respect Lester. We’re both news anchors, but our jobs are different. Lester does a straight newscast every night. I do two hours of mostly just talking to people about the news. Some people are not going to like what I have to say. If I was just sitting there every night, tossing to reporters and packaged stories and then saying good night at the end, there would not be this criticism of me. There would not be so much fodder and people talking about me all the time.

He added, “But I have the most editorial freedom of anyone [at CNN], considering the time of night and the kind of person that I am.”

Lemon also revealed he quit following President Trump on Twitter (the president previously called Lemon “the dumbest man on television”).

He noted he doesn’t generally respond to most of the hate about him. “I have a show that’s on CNN every night. If I have an issue with something, I am free to respond to it there or not. And most of the time I choose not to.”

On the tension between himself, fellow primetime hosts Anderson Cooper and Chris Cuomo, he said: “There’s competition, but it’s not a secret. Everybody is competitive. Everyone wants to put on a good show. Everyone wants the best show and the big story, and everyone wants to be first, but more than first, we want to be accurate and everyone wants to have the higher ratings. I mean, there’s competition amongst siblings. Right. Do you have sisters and brothers? Were you guys competitive? Are they competitive? Do they love each other? Of course.”

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Over the past three months Lemon has used his show to “talk to people about the news”, in particular the news surrounding the riots that have been taking place across the country.  Lemon continually downplayed the riots, and even mocked conservatives for believing that “democratic cities are in chaos” and that “people are pulling down statues”.

However, following the DNC, Lemon has seemingly changed his tune on how he wants to report on the matter, how he wants to talk about the news. Lemon stated this past week alongside Chris Cuomo:

“The rioting has to stop, Chris, as you know and I know. It’s showing up in the polls. It’s showing up in the focus groups. It’s the only thing right now that’s sticking.”


Nick Regan

Nick Regan is a 2020 National Pulse Writing Fellow