Home > NewsRelease > Unethical Quote Of The Month, Also Stupid: CNN Host Don Lemon
Unethical Quote Of The Month, Also Stupid: CNN Host Don Lemon
Jack Marshall -- ProEthics, Ltd. Jack Marshall -- ProEthics, Ltd.
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Alexandria , VA
Thursday, February 21, 2019


“In the court of public opinion, Jussie has lost. He’s lost the fight in the court of public opinion, and that’s where his battle is. Legally … if it’s jail time, if he has to do probation, if he has to pay whatever, but in the court of public opinion…It matters. And he lost that because of how—and not his fault—but maybe people were, I don’t know what they were saying to him, maybe because of his representatives, who knows? But it was handled poorly.”

—CNN host  and Jussie Smollett pal Don Lemon, blathering incomprehensibly and incompetently on his CNN show yesterday about the actor’s hate crime hoax being exposed.

Several commenters referenced Lemon’s nonsense in the comments to this morning’s Smollett-heavy post, but I was inclined to let them pass, having decided long ago, especially after his juvenile moderation of the gun control “debate” involving the Parkland kids, that Lemon is such a poor journalist and such an emotion-soaked, biased analyst that he’s not worth my time to criticize. But like Lewis Black’s story about the stray overheard comment ( “And if it wasn’t for my horse, I wouldn’t have spent that year in college“) that keeps churning in your head until it acts like an aneurism and kills you, Lemon’s idiocy kept churning and churning in my brain. How does this amateurish fool have a job on the air? Is it because he’s gay, black and cute? Surely that isn’t enough to justify CNN regularly giving such a dummy a national platform. Heck, Jussie Smullett is gay, black and cute. I can’t believe he’d make less sense than Lemon. It’s hard to believe anyone could.

What does the “court of public opinion” have to do with anything? Lemon’s pal—he told us that he rehularly calls and texts to see how Jussie is doing—conspired to trick the public into believing he was a victim of a hate crime with partisan political implications. Lemon sees this as public relations crisis? Smollett lied. He went on TV to spread his lie. He wasted many scarce police resources forcing Chicago PD to investigate the fake attack. Do we say that Harvey Weinstein, Michael Cohen or Ted Bundy have lost in the court of public opinion? Who thinks like that, or, if they do think like that, is dumb enough to say it out loud, and not just out loud, but on television?

“NOT HIS FAULT”? Gee, Don, can you spell “accountability”? Ever heard of it? See, if someone tells a fake story to the police and then goes to great lengths to spread the lie coast to coast, it’s his fault. Well, unless his daughter or puppy of something is being held at gunpoint by a maniac, but I’m sure Don would have told us if he thought that was the problem. It’s hard to tell because Lemon fails to construct a coherent sentence, but is he really blaming Smollett’s “representatives” for this? “IT” was handled poorly? What’s “it”? The hoax could have been handled better? A hate crime claim is being “handled poorly” if it’s made up?

And why the passive voice? The hoax wasn’t handled poorly, Lemon’s friend engineered a hoax, there was no way such a thing isn’t bad by definition, and this is pure equivocation and spin. Aren’t journalists supposed to clarify what happened, and not kick up smoke and fog?

Of course, calling Don Lemon a journalist is like Lincoln’s story about calling a dog’s tail a leg….except this is a case of calling a horse’s ass a professional.

He wasn’t through, either:

“Sean Hannity is going to eat Jussie Smollett’s lunch every single second. Tucker Carlson is going to eat Jussie Smollett’s lunch every single second. The President of the United States is going to eat his lunch."

How articulate, Don. “Eat his lunch”—may I translate? Everyone who cares about truth and fairness is going to be exactly as hard on Smollett and his knee-jerk supporters as they deserve, asked for, and should take as their just desserts, and there is absolutely nothing inappropriate about any of it. When Weinstein’s serial sexual assulats and harassment was revealed, I don’t recall anyone bemoaning the fact that mean Meryl Streep, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gloria Allred and Rachel Maddow would be “eating poor Harvey’s lunch.” Lemon’;s lament is the statement of a partisan advocate: “Oh no! This sets the cause and the narrative back! The enemy will be crowing!”

If that’s your reaction to Smollett’s scam, your values are corrupted, and you definitely have no business posing as a journalist.

ProEthics, Ltd.
Alexandria, VA