NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 29: Don Lemon attends the 17th Annual National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association New York benefit at the Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams SoHo Store on March 29, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

When CNN Gives You Lemons…

Time for a little honesty–I actually have a certain fondness for Don Lemon.  He has an earnestness to him that’s really quite endearing, like an elementary school science geek who keeps an autographed picture of Bill Nye tacked up in his locker.  But he also knows how to party with the big dogs, as he so ably proved during CNN’s live coverage of New Years Eve in New Orleans.  With a gusto that could only be fueled by several shots of Pepe Lopez, Lemon answered the age-old piercing question (ear or nipple?) and came clean about how he might be hard to love, right before the producer cut off his mic for the night.  He might not have liked how 2016 turned out, but he sure ended it in style.

Which makes Lemon’s return to convention a little disappointing.  Sure, maybe the bow tie sets him apart–but what he’s serving up is just the same ole media bias twaddle, reheated like last week’s tuna casserole.  Case in point, his refusal to cover the story that Susan Rice, national security adviser to Barack Obama, ordered the unmasking of Trump & Co. when they were being surveilled by U.S. intelligence agencies:

Let us be very clear about this. There is no evidence whatsoever that the Trump team… was spied on illegally. There is no evidence that backs up the president’s original claim. And on this program tonight, we will not insult your intelligence by pretending otherwise, nor will we aid and abet the people who are trying to misinform you, the American people, by creating a diversion.

So if Lemon won’t insult my intelligence on his show tonight, does that mean he’s free to insult it another night?  Because that’s kinda the feeling I’m getting here.  Remember that this is the same Don Lemon who postulated that Malaysian Air Flight 370 might have been swallowed by a black hole, or perhaps the Bermuda Triangle–even though the flight disappeared over the Indian Ocean.  If all that wasn’t too wacky for him, you’d think this Susan Rice business would be a walk in the park.  At the very least, it’s less preposterous than suggesting to one of Bill Cosby’s accusers that she might have had better luck not getting raped if she’d only taken a bite out of his Jello Pudding Pop.

And lest we forget, it was the news media’s dogged pursuit of the “Trump colluded with the Russians” narrative–in which CNN and Don Lemon himself played significant roles–that led back to Susan Rice in the first place.  How’s he supposed to cover the part of the story he likes (Russians!  Hookers!  Golden Showers!  Election Hacked!) while ignoring the part he doesn’t?  And isn’t Lemon already calling attention to it by saying he’s not going to call attention to it?  Man, I can already feel my head spinning.

Or maybe that’s just the tequila.

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Marc Giller

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