CNN anchor Don Lemon took his dislike for President Trump to a new level and blasted media outlets that choose to carry the White House coronavirus press briefings live.
Lemon claimed Monday that the daily briefings have become Trump’s new version of his old reality show “The Apprentice” and suggested viewers should not “listen to what he says.”
He staunchly defended his stand during the nightly handoff to his colleague, Chris Cuomo, who disagreed with the view and argued that, due to the nature of the coronavirus crisis, all press briefings from the White House should be carried live.
“I have said I don’t think that you should really listen to what he says, you should listen to what the experts say,” Lemon said on “CNN Tonight” Monday.
“I’m not actually sure, if you want to be honest, that we should carry that live. I think we should run snippets. I think we should do it afterwards and get the pertinent points to the American people because he’s never, ever going to tell you the truth,” he declared.
“And guess what he’s gonna do. If you ask a question that is a legitimate question, and if he doesn’t like the question, he’s gonna say whether you’re being mean or not or whatever he wants to call it, he’s gonna say, ‘That is a mean, nasty question.’ Why? Because he wants his base to think that the media is being mean to him and they’re attacking him,” Lemon continued. “It is all a plot! It is all orchestrated. And if you can’t see it, I don’t know what you’re looking at. It’s obvious, it’s transparent to me.”
The CNN host was no doubt reacting, with Cuomo, to Trump’s earlier press conference in which he ripped the network’s White House reporter Jim Acosta for a “nasty” and “snarky” question.
Trump rips into Jim Acosta for ‘nasty’ question, says this is why people ‘don’t want to listen’ to CNN https://t.co/gCFAr93vcw
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 31, 2020
“This has become- those press briefings have become his new ‘Apprentice.’ They’ve become his new rallies. And he treats the press and the media as if he’s talking to the people at his rallies. It’s the same thing. It’s no different except the audience isn’t there,” Lemon said.
“Well, look, I understand the frustration with his messaging. But, you know what? Too many dead people,” Cuomo interjected.
Lemon clarified that he was not “frustrated” but just “pointing out the obvious.”
“Pointing out the obvious, especially as a journalist, is not being political. If we don’t do that, then we are not doing our duty as journalists to point that out,” he said.
“That’s our job to point that out. That’s exactly what he’s doing,” he added, pointing out that he was not saying to completely ignore the briefings.
“I don’t believe in censorship,” Cuomo countered. “I’m saying play all of it. I want to hear everything he has to say. I want it all to be out there and I want him to be held to account. Because this isn’t BS politics right now. It’s not about nicknames. It’s not about what he can call another party. It’s about living and dying and a lot of that is going to fall on what is done and not done by this government.”
“I get what you’re saying, it does matter,” Lemon relented, but then told his colleague to ask a “real question” to which he responded with what he called a “stock answer,” impersonating the president.
“What does the American people get out of that? Not much,” he said. “Run it afterwards, put it context. That’s all I’m saying.”
The two spent a few more minutes bashing the president and his handling of the pandemic, joining the cacophony of liberals demanding Trump’s daily Coronavirus Task Force news briefings not be carried live. And the liberal drumbeat comes as media outlets have been repeatedly called out for “regurgitating” the narrative being pushed by the Chinese Communist Party about COVID-19.
Donald Trump Jr’s ‘must-read thread’ – we’re all waiting for apologies https://t.co/RqMwduKde2 pic.twitter.com/gcVvgaDgqz
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 30, 2020
Despite the narrative, Fox News has stuck with its live coverage of the president’s daily briefings, whatever time they may air. The network reaped big rewards for the move as it scored a ratings win last week when its shows topped Nielsen data, recording massive viewer tune in which secured spots as the top six programs on cable news.
“I don’t like wasting people’s time and I don’t like people being bamboozled. That’s it. And I know I’m going to be criticized for it but so be it,” Lemon said eventually, effectively telling viewers the network should decide what is important for them to watch.
“Listen, whether he gets reelected, that’s not on me. People can vote for whoever they want as their president but as a journalist, I want to make sure that they’re getting the right information, their time is not being wasted, and that the administration is not using our airwaves to have the president promote things that aren’t necessarily true,” he declared. “That’s it.”
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