CNN’s Don Lemon has repetitively made headlines for not covering the news but becoming the story himself. In 2014, Lemon was considered by the Columbia Journalism Review to be one of the worst journalists working in the industry.
“As one of the most recognizable anchors on CNN, Don Lemon has helped lead the cable network’s coverage of the biggest stories of the year. Live television is exceedingly difficult to produce, of course, but Lemon’s gaffes this year offer a case study in how to choose words wisely — or not,” according to the CJR.
There is no secret that Lemon has become a de facto Black “representative” for the mega media company. His show CNN Tonight is when the day’s most pressing issues concerning race in America are discussed. He is treated like Ta-Nehisi Coates but Lemon has little to no apparent knowledge of racial history in this country and it seems to be highlighted when tragedy strikes.
For example, on June 22, the anchor was paraded out front to discuss the racial and historical significance of the confederate flag. He then asks his audience does the word “N*gger” offend them.
don. my man. nine people got shot dead in a church in a state that flies the confederate flag. this ain’t the time. pic.twitter.com/iTvEuFVM6P
— Greg Howard (@greghoward88) June 23, 2015
It’s clear that CNN has become more interested in the controversy Don Lemon garners than in his integrity as a news man.
— Amanda Seales (@amandaseales) June 23, 2015
Just last month Lemon had a disagreement with attorney Sunny Hostin over the incident at Spring Valley High, South Carolina.
In a recent interview for The New York Times Magazine, Lemon was asked what he would be doing if he wasn’t a journalist and Lemon replied, “I’d probably be a writer like James Baldwin. Or I would probably be an activist. But not like Dr. King, even though I admire him. I’d probably be more of a Malcolm X. I believe the best way to improve yourself is to improve yourself.”
The irony is that Lemon wants to be like people who boldly disagree with the notion of living under white supremacy. Baldwin and X would have not allowed themselves to be a puppet. They would not have allowed themselves to be marched out nightly to shuck and jive, denounce their Blackness, or mock the issues that were important to Black people. These men would not allow themselves to be embarrassed the way Lemon has.
Lemon’s full interview will be on stands Sunday, November 22.