Either Don Lemon has spent too much time inside the liberal bubble at CNN, or he is afraid of his job status as the network transitions away from the hyper-partisan excesses of the Trump years — or both.
Whatever the case, the CNN host thinks the media’s being too doggone fair to Republicans.
In a Thursday segment on the network’s “New Day” morning show, Lemon said it is the media’s job to acknowledge that the GOP is “dangerous to our society,” not to report on political events through the lens of objectivity.
(Of course, this kind of reporting has led to CNN’s ratings going in the toilet, as the network feigns objectivity while skewing as far to the left as possible. Here at The Western Journal, we keep tabs on Big Media’s biases and lies — and we’ll keep making sure America knows the truth. You can help us by subscribing.)
According to Newsbusters, Lemon was on the show to discuss a segment on his show the previous night, in which he brought together what the network was touting as a fair representation of the state of the Republican Party now.
On one side, there was NYU history professor Ruth Ben-Ghiat, who said “the benefits of the [Jan. 6 committee] hearings is to put awareness on how radicalized the GOP has become.” On the other was Jason van Tatenhove, a former spokesman for the far-right Oath Keepers, who now speaks out about the dangers of the organization. He agreed with Ben-Ghiat’s assessment.
So clearly, QED. Airtight proof the GOP is rotten to the core with insurrection and hatred — and the media has to start calling that out, Lemon said.
“We sit around and we talk about these things and we — we want to give this false equivalence to Democrats and Republicans,” Lemon said.
“That is not where we are right now. Republicans are doing something that is very dangerous to our society, and we have to acknowledge that. We have to acknowledge that as Americans, we must acknowledge that as journalists, because if we don’t we’re not doing our jobs.”
Apparently, the only person more loath to watch the network on which Don Lemon appears than I am is Don Lemon, since the people at CNN have definitely been doing their jobs, and doing them long before the Jan. 6 committee hearings began.
But the danger goes deeper than the Capitol incursion, Lemon said.
“We cannot sit here and pretend like, well, Republicans it’s a — cut them a break. Let’s — we want to hear — they have a lot to answer for in this moment,” Lemon continued.
“A lot to answer for what happened with the former president of the United States, why they allowed his antics to go on for so long, why he is not accountable, why they go along with it and don’t say anything. They’ve got to answer for that. Why they are — whether you agree with abortion rights or not — why they have taken back a right that was — that, uh — you know, that was granted to — uh, American women for 50 years.
“They have to answer for those questions if they come here on CNN, they must answer for that,” he continued.
“If they go on MSNBC they must answer for that. If they go on ABC they must answer for that. And they cannot expect to be coddled when they go on to a news organization or if they step in front of a crowd of supporters.”
Apparently, Don Lemon’s refusal to watch liberal news extends beyond his own network, because none of the outlets he mentioned are known for, say, softball interviews with Kevin McCarthy, where he gets asked what kind of ice cream he ate today. Our potentially senile president, on the other hand, has fielded more questions about his preferences in creamery confections than any American politician in recent memory.
Of course, there’s a bit of subtext to this. CNN’s parent company merged with Discovery, Inc. earlier this year, and executives brought on board during the merger expressed concerns CNN had grown too partisan, with one exec saying they “would like to see CNN evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with, and actually have journalists, which would be unique and refreshing.”
Then, earlier this year, former CNN president Jeff Zucker got the ax for having an undisclosed romantic relationship with an employee. Zucker helped transform CNN into a punchy, hyper-partisan platform where personalities like Lemon and Chris Cuomo were the main attraction and even the daytime “straight news” coverage skewed far to the left.
Zucker’s replacement was Chris Licht, whose vision reportedly fits in with the network evolving “back to the kind of journalism that it started with.” Last month, Axios reported that Licht was “evaluating whether personalities and programming that grew polarizing during the Trump era can adapt to the network’s new priority to be less partisan.”
One of the things Licht would reportedly be grading on? “For on-air talent, that includes engaging in respectful interviews that don’t feel like PR stunts. For producers and bookers, that includes making programming decisions that are focused on nuance, not noise,” Axios reported.
I’m not sure where an interview with a history professor talking about “how radicalized the GOP has become” along with a former Oath Keeper who has disavowed the group fits into the whole “interviews that don’t feel like PR stunts” grade scheme, but I can’t imagine it went over well.
But then, Lemon belongs to the other half of CNN’s talent base. Instead of adapting to a changing media landscape, he wants to pretend the Trump years never ended. They’re still going on! And they’re more dangerous than ever! And every Republican is in on it! And not only does it include Jan. 6, it includes abortion! And whatever else is going on! The extremists are everywhere!
The problem is that this hasn’t worked for CNN or MSNBC, both of which have seen plummeting ratings since the Trump years ended. The solution is not — as Lemon seems to be doing — to pretend the liberal media was really being fair to the GOP back then, but now the gloves are coming off.
Instead, CNN ought to acknowledge it’s a partisan media outlet — just like The Western Journal, or National Review, or HuffPo, or the Daily Wire — or start doing actual objective journalism and not just hiding behind its banner. Chris Licht seems to have decided on the latter route, which means you might not be seeing Don Lemon or rhetoric like this on CNN for much longer.
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