Don Lemon is a dinosaur at CNN — and it shows.
Thanks to the network’s new CEO Chris Licht, who seems to be driven by the radical notion that gaining viewers is more important than virtue-signaling, the pendulum has shifted. There have been small glimpses of CNN’s move back to more straight-news-style programming.
In May, Licht explained that the Warner Bros. Discovery’s CEO David Zaslav put him in the role with a mission: “He gave me one simple directive: enhance CNN’s leadership as the definitive source for reliable news and exceptional, journalism globally.”
Unfortunately, reliable news and Don Lemon don’t mix.
The host, who has spent the last few years giggling as his panelists mocked “credulous boomer rube” Trump supporters and propping up the bogus Jussie Smollett hoax, can’t adapt to his network’s new style.
This week while interviewing Jamie Rhome, the acting director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Hurricane Center, the broadcaster brought up climate change.
“I don’t think you can link climate change to any one event,” Rhome responded. “On the whole on the cumulative, climate change may be making storms worse, but to link it to any one event, I would caution against that,” the expert continued. “We can come back and talk about climate change at a later time, I want to talk about the here and now,” he told a visibly miffed Lemon.
The host shot back, “Listen, I grew up there, and these storms are intensifying, something is causing them to intensify.”
Forget the expert from the Hurricane Center. Don Lemon lived in Florida and he thinks “something” is happening. He must be right! It’s science.
Just a week prior, Lemon interviewed British royal expert Hillary Fordwich about the Queen’s funeral. Naturally the host couldn’t resist politicizing the coverage and asked his guest about the argument that the royal family should pay reparations for colonialism. Fordwich, drawing from a deeper knowledge base than your average CNN guest, did not follow the woke progressive talking points on the subject. The rest of the interview did not go well for Don.
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 20, 2022
Licht is ushering in a “time of change” at the network, hence why notable on-air “talents” like Brian Stelter (who cemented himself as a Trump-Deranged talking head during former CNN CEO Jeff Zucker’s reign) have been shown the door.
After all, desperate times — and ratings — call for desperate measures.
Meanwhile, the television personalities are attempting to keep their progressive viewpoints to themselves.
Pre-Trump, this was fairly common practice. Most news personalities and contributors didn’t suddenly become liberals when Trump strolled into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. They were just a lot better at hiding it.
But in media, absurdity was rewarded during the Trump years — especially at CNN.
Jim Acosta became an author, hero and anchor of his own show, not because of his reporting, but because of his histrionic stand-offs with President Trump (remember: unlike Biden, Trump actually interacted with the media).
Chris Cuomo, armed with a giant Q-tip, had the world drooling as he interviewed his big bro Andrew, “the Luv Gov,” about the Covid-19 crisis that was sweeping the nation. Also sweeping the nation at the time thanks to CNN’s fawning segments featuring the two macho men? Cuomosexuality: mostly in circles of progressive women with too much time on their hands.
Speaking of the pandemic, Don Lemon actually broke down in tears on-air while discussing his then-friend Chris Cuomo’s Covid-19 diagnosis.
CNN has devolved into a bizarre soap opera over the past decade. It was an embarrassing time for the network, but it is also an era that guys like Don Lemon, Brian Stelter and Jim Acosta will look back at fondly as the glory days.
But Lemon’s partisan hackery and lack of discipline have been indulged for too long.
There are CNN employees who can put their moderate masks back on if it means keeping their jobs. Don Lemon does not appear to be among them.