CNN’s Don Lemon said something about President Trump’s first primetime address from the Oval Office that should have anyone who cares about journalistic integrity and basic ethics concerned: Lemon suggested that Trump be put on a time “delay” in case the President promotes “propaganda.”
We’re not making this up.
Lemon channels his inner Big Brother
Trump’s speech Tuesday night about the crisis at the border will be carried by all the major networks. On CNN, Lemon told colleague Chris Cuomo that the networks should “have to wonder” whether or not Trump’s address should be aired live, or if it should be accompanied by a live “fact-check.”
“How do you handle this?” Lemon asked. “Because you’re giving the president of the United States, which he should be given the bully pulpit, he owns it — but you’re giving him the opportunity to speak to the United States unfettered – to speak to the people of the United States – and this president has a problem with the truth, so what do you do?”
“You let him speak and then you hold him to account,” Cuomo said to Lemon.
Cuomo also had a stare that screamed, ‘Have you lost your mind?!?’
UNBELIEVABLE: Don Lemon suggests that Trump's speech be delayed so it can be edited and kept from Americans.
Chris Cuomo (the voice of reason) corrects him and says wanting a border wall isn't immoral or wrong.
Cuomo giving Lemon a "you've lost your mind" stare is CLASSIC. pic.twitter.com/0nwI8BEssP
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) January 8, 2019
“Listen, I’m not saying we should do it but do you think there should be, I don’t know, a delay of some sort? Because people will believe it, the president will say what he has to say, people will believe it whether the facts are true are not — I guess that’s a chance you take with any president, but this one is different,” Lemon continued, digging a deeper hole. “And by the time the rebuttals come on, we’ve already promoted propaganda, possibly, unless he gets up there and tells the truth.”
Cuomo pushes back against Lemon’s Orwellian proposal
Cuomo told Lemon that Trump “has his right” to state his case to the American people and that “wanting barriers along the border is not propaganda.” Lemon agreed but said the President still might promote propaganda.
“That’s our job,” Cuomo said. “I believe that fears of people saying that, you know, ‘you should limit the exposure of this president to the American people,’ I dismiss that notion entirely.”
Kudos to Cuomo for explaining to Lemon the proper role of journalists and for defending the most basic premises of the First Amendment and free speech.
But that didn’t stop Lemon.
“I just think you have to be more strategic and more responsible to the viewer with this administration… we always say ‘doesn’t matter who’s first, it matters who’s accurate,’ right? If we get it right. I think we should apply the same parameters that we do with that,” Lemon said.
He continued, “We want to be accurate. We don’t have to be first. We can monitor what the president is saying or monitor what’s being said in the briefing room and if it’s newsworthy or they’re taking questions about a topic that’s important, then we can get to that topic and we can go there.”
“But if it’s a political stunt, why do we even have to do it and, I don’t know, just expose the viewer and the American people to propaganda?,” Lemon said.
Don Lemon needs to understand that when the President of the United States gives a speech, his job as a journalist is to report on what the president has said – not to tamper with it to mold Trump’s words to his liking.
At least Chris Cuomo gets it.