Don Lemon got upset when a guest blasted CNN on live TV. “There’s nothing fake about CNN!” Lemon exclaimed. But that’s not all. After the guest made further statements, the CNN host continued to get defensive.
Don Lemon became angry during a live broadcast of CNN This Morning. Lemon, who was moved by the network from his primetime show to become one of the morning news anchors, became incensed at remarks made by filmmaker Andrew Callaghan.
Callaghan appeared on the morning show to discuss his documentary film, titled This Place Rules. When Lemon pressed Callaghan on his interactions with Enrique Tarrio, a leader of the Proud Boys, who is facing seditious conspiracy charges related to January 6, Callaghan bluntly told Lemon that his film is not just about January 6. It also covers the role that media, including CNN, allegedly played in constructing an “echo chamber.”
During the segment, Lemon went fishing for more information on the Proud Boys leader. “No details about his involvement, his state of mind, or anything?” Lemon asked, referring to Tarrio.
“The movie’s not just about like the Capitol riot and all that,” Callaghan shot back. “It’s also about like media echo chamber and like the dangers of the 24-hour news cycle,” he said. “And how, I think, mainstream media — like Fox and even CNN — competes for views by running constant 24-hour news cycles based upon fear, division, outrage, and panic, probably to sell ads,” he explained.
Lemon was bothered by the remarks and wasted no time noting his frustration with Callaghan’s criticism of CNN and the media in general. “First of all, I don’t agree with what you’re saying,” Lemon responded. “But I’m not exactly sure of how that played into people going into the Capitol and rioting on January 6,” he added. “There’s nothing fake about CNN!” Lemon proclaimed.
“I’m not saying, like, fake news,” Callaghan fired back. “I’m just saying, ramping people up and increasing division during that period of time. Just watching people kind of fall down the rabbit hole and be pushed into action — yes, falling down the conspiracy rabbit hole.” Lemon claimed that “more people” would blame Donald Trump for what happened on January 6 than the media, The Blaze reported.
It’s been difficult for Don Lemon, sources say, ever since he lost his primetime show. After the network announced he would move from primetime’s Don Lemon Tonight to an ensemble morning program, Lemon claimed it was not a demotion. In the world of television news, a primetime program bearing the name of the host is considered the highest possible perch.
“I was presented with an opportunity that I just can’t pass up, at this network, and we have a new boss who is a morning show [expert],” Lemon told viewers. “And he wants a morning show that will kick off the editorial direction of the network, every single day, and I am honored that he asked me to do it.”
In the post-Trump era, Don Lemon’s two-hour stint in primetime was one of CNN’s lowest-rated programs, almost as bad as New Day, Fox News reported. In 2022, Don Lemon Tonight had an average of 683,000 viewers, a 34% loss from his 2021 viewership, regularly at a distant third behind Fox News and MSNBC.
On multiple occasions, Lemon claimed he was not demoted. “[The new boss] asked me and I said yes,” he declared. “I could have said no. This is my show, I have a contract for this show, I decided I would take him up on that and take this journey with him. This is not someone moving me. I was not demoted. None of that. This is an opportunity. This is a promotion.” Under CNN’s new management, which is aiming for nonpartisan programming, critics speculated that Lemon would be one of the first people to be axed for being a staunchly liberal TV personality.