Don Lemon has begun a campaign to convince viewers CNN does not hate Trump, love the Democrats or engage in biased reporting.
Then, on Tuesday, in a segment to promote Jim Acosta’s new book, “Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time To Tell The Truth in America,” Lemon doubled down.
“For all those people who say oh, the the the press … CNN hates Trump and CNN is, you know, loves the Democrats,” Lemon began.
“I watched Manu Raju with Nancy Pelosi who clearly did not want to answer Manu’s questions today, even in her body language. And you know what? He persisted, and he asked her the tough questions anyway. So anyone, 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.”
Acosta responded: “That’s right. We’re here to hold their feet to the fire. And just because we’re pro-truth doesn’t mean that we’re anti-Trump and, as I write throughout this book and I try to close it out on a hopeful note, we are not the enemy of the people. We are defenders of the people, and we want to defend the people because we’re devoted to the people.
“You and I Don, our families, our parents, our kids, our loved ones … we all think about all those folks when we come into the office and do this job on a daily basis. We’re not here to spin things or color things a certain way. We’re here to get the people reliable, accurate information on a daily basis. That’s why we all come in to work every day. We get a high out of it. And I just want to make sure we can keep this going as a country.”
Others got a high out of assembling – or re-assembling – lists of instances of bias by Lemon and others on CNN.
There was the time Lemon blamed President Trump for a man making death threats against CNN. “There’s nothing random about this. Nothing,” Lemon intoned.
There was the time in December when Lemon said on the air he did not think he would be able to shake President Trump’s hand at President George H.W. Bush’s funeral.
“Nope, couldn’t do it,” Lemon said then. “I’m not that big a person. I would hope that I would be, but I don’t – I can’t take the funk as they say.”
He went on to say America’s problems nearly all trace to white men.
“We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right,” Lemon said. “And we have to start doing something about them. There’s no travel ban on them. There is no white guy ban, so what do we do about that?”
Within the last two weeks, Howard Kurtz, the media critic, said CNN is losing viewers because of anti-Trump bias that has seeped from its nighttime opinion shows to its daytime news coverage, and the New York Times has banned reporters from going on Lemon’s show because it was too biased.
CNN has run a variety of anti-Trump stories it had to retract. The most famous is probably its story saying Congress was investigating a Russian investment firm with ties to Anthony Scaramucci, who was briefly Trump’s White House communications director. The story not only had to be retracted, but the journalists responsible were fired.
A study by the Media Research Center found Trump-related stories accounted for about a third of all televised news in 2017 and that 90 percent of those stories were negative about the president.