President Joe Biden participates in a CNN Town Hall with Don Lemon, Wednesday, July 21, 2021, at Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Don Lemon recently sat down with ABC24 in Memphis for an exclusive interview to discuss his departure from the network, shedding light on his view of the circumstances surrounding his firing. Lemon boldly claimed that he was let go because he refused to provide a platform for what he referred to as “liars, bigots, insurrectionists, and election deniers.” This marked his first sit-down interview since parting ways with his long-held anchor position on the 24/7 news network. The decision to remove Lemon from his role came after several heated arguments with his co-hosts on CNN This Morning and a highly publicized interview in which he fiercely criticized presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy.

Interestingly, Lemon’s termination coincided with the arrival of Chris Licht as the newly appointed CEO. Licht had plans to implement changes within the network, one of which involved moving away from what some viewed as a heavy emphasis on woke ideology. However, it is worth noting that Licht himself faced subsequent job loss, raising questions about the stability and future direction of the network. Licht’s quest to be seen as an objective media source was likely lost because the network had mostly passionate liberals covering stories in a way that they disagreed with. This brought new meaning to the idea of “Fake News.”

Lemon, aged 57, firmly asserts that his actions were driven by a genuine desire to “stand up for what is right.” He vehemently criticized Licht’s proposal to introduce more conservative voices on air, describing it as a betrayal of their journalistic duties. In Lemon’s view, it is not only his responsibility as a journalist but also his duty as an American citizen to ensure the truth prevails and to honor the principles enshrined in the Constitution, he argued. The reality is, Lemon was an employee for a company that was taking a different editorial approach. Lemon’s options were not to do what he wanted, but to comply or quit. It is really the epitome of hubris to think he cornered the market on truth and that the network should be about his way “or the highway.” CNN chose the highway — for Lemon.

“The Constitution envisions a ‘more perfect union,’ not a perfect union. I have a duty to speak this truth and fulfill the promises outlined in our Constitution,” Lemon emphasized during the interview. He argued that his “unwavering commitment” to the pursuit of truth and the safeguarding of democratic values underpins his perspective on the matter. Again, this hits hard against reality. CNN has the right to have a certain perspective, just like Lemon. Since CNN was paying the salary, Lemon’s only honest option was leaving.

The future of CNN itself remains uncertain, with reports circulating that its parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, is contemplating selling the network. The current landscape of the media industry is evolving rapidly, and the fate of CNN hangs in the balance, awaiting decisive actions and strategic considerations.

Throughout the interview, Lemon took the opportunity to express his grievances towards his former employer, shedding light on his personal opinions as a journalist.

Referring to the highly-discussed interview with Ramaswamy, Lemon was immovable. He firmly declared, “I firmly believe in the ethical responsibility of journalism, and that includes refraining from granting a platform to individuals I consider liars, bigots, insurrectionists, and election deniers. To present them on the same footing as those who espouse truth and uphold the Constitution would be a grave dereliction of our journalistic duties.”

Following his departure from CNN, Lemon intends to devote the upcoming months to spending quality time with his fiancée, Tim Malone, and their beloved dogs. Despite concerns expressed by others about his well-being, Lemon reassured the public, stating, “People are more worried about me than I am about myself. Rest assured, I am doing just fine.” Maybe, but it appears highly unlikely he will find viable work anytime soon.



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