Don Lemon’s tenure at CNN has been a rocky one of late, as the former prime-time anchor has now found himself as the token male co-host of the network’s new morning show – a demotion that appears to have browbeaten the infotainment personality into toeing the company line even more than usual.
For instance, Lemon has even gone so far as to attempt to suggest that CNN itself isn’t an outpost for liberal talking points during an interview with Stephen Colbert.
Don Lemon attempted to dispel the notion that CNN was ever “liberal,” as his new boss Chris Licht attempts to rescue the struggling network.Advertisement - story continues below
On Monday, “The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert asked Lemon about Licht, who previously served as the executive producer of the CBS late-night program before being tapped as CNN’s CEO following the ousting of Jeff Zucker earlier this year.
“Word on the street is that you guys aren’t allowed to be liberal anymore. Is that the case?” Colbert asked.Trending:
“I don’t think we ever were liberal,” Lemon responded.
Colbert, whose career began in the murky, satirical waters of faux-punditry himself, saw right through Lemon’s assertion.
“What?” Colbert shockingly reacted. “That’s not me saying that, that’s the people out there saying he’s not letting you be liberal anymore.”
Lemon then attempted to drive home a long-failing point of CNN’s regarding the network’s “journalistic” integrity.
“Well listen, I think what Chris is saying is that he wants Republicans – sensible Republicans, he wants us to hold people to account, but he wants people to come on and feel comfortable with coming on and talking on CNN and appearing on CNN,” Lemon said. “So if you invite someone to your house, you want to make them comfortable but also by the nature of what we do, we have to hold people to account.”
“And so that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going liberal or conservative or whatever, it just means that we are doing what we do and that’s good journalism,” Lemon added.
Lemon surely knows better, but his recent demotion appears to be keeping him on the straight and narrow with CNN’s new management.