CNN’s Don Lemon says he cannot “understand how people can say CNN is biased,” arguing that the left-leaning network’s negative coverage of President Donald Trump is simply delivering the truth.
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Lemon — who is billed as a news anchor rather than an opinion host — and CNN in its entirety have built reputations for being openly anti-Trump since the president took office, leading Mediaite‘s Aidan McLaughlin to sit down with Lemon and allow him to respond to critics.
McLaughlin noted that “Lemon has faced criticism for his strident commentary on inequality in America, as well as his labeling of President Donald Trump as a bigot and a racist.”
When asked to response to those who accuse him of being biased for his rhetoric against President Trump, Lemon responded:
No. How is being factual bias? How is taking someone, how is taking evidence and someone’s own words and their own actions and their own policies, and just presenting it back to the public on television or whatever medium, whatever journalistic medium you happen to be in, how is that bias? By calling out the fact that the president calls certain countries shithole countries? Or the way he speaks to African-Americans. What happened with him and the Central Park Five. What happened with him and his father being sued for discrimination. How is that bias? That’s just the truth. Now, if the truth isn’t on your side, then what this administration will do is say that you’re biased and say that everything is negative because they don’t have the truth on their side.
According to Fox News, Lemon also “went on to defend CNN’s anti-Trump reputation.”
“This man is the president of the United States and I think it’s very easy to say that CNN is negative or is anti-Trump, because the truth is not on Trump’s side, so he attacks us and we are here to tell people the truth,” Lemon said. “I don’t really understand how people will say CNN is biased and focuses on the negative of Trump.”
Lemon’s defense of CNN echoes that of notoriously anti-Trump CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta, who has also argued that the news outlet is simply doing a public service with its coverage.
During an interview on Lemon’s show last year, the host asked Acosta for his response to “all those people who say ‘oh,’ that CNN, the press hates Trump, and that CNN loves the Democrats,” as Lemon asserted that “A Democrat, a Republican, regardless of who it is, if you hold a position of power, we, the journalists at CNN, are going to question you about it whether you like it or not.”
“That’s right,” Acosta answered. “We’re here to hold their feet to the fire, and just because we are pro-truth doesn’t mean that we are anti-Trump.” Acosta went on to plug his anti-Trump book.