Don Lemon Sets the Record Straight: CNN Has Never Been Liberal

If you’re bummed that former news network CNN long ago became a liberal opinion outlet, Don Lemon has uplifting news: It never happened.

On Monday’s installment of The Late Show, host Stephen Colbert welcomed Don to talk about the state of news and the nation. In light of CNN CEO Chris Licht having replaced Jeff Zucker, Colbert broached the subject of bias:


“Word on the street is that you guys aren’t allowed to be liberal anymore. Is that the case?”

Lemon squeezed out the following:

“I don’t think we ever were liberal.”

Stephen immediately responded with “What?” Then he made sure not to suggest CNN has leaned Left:

“That’s not me saying that. That’s the people out there saying that he’s not letting you be liberal anymore.”

Don’s down on the idea:

“Well…listen, I think…what Chris is saying is that he wants Republicans — sensible Republicans. He wants to hold people to account, but he wants people to come on and feel comfortable with coming on and talking on CNN…”

By “sensible Republicans,” perhaps Don means Democratic ones — there appear to be a few of those on TV. As for “what Chris is saying,” the network’s new chief recently made clear it doesn’t have to tilt to either side. As told to the Financial Times:

“Sometimes, you just point out uncomfortable questions. But either way, you don’t see it through a lens of Left or Right.”

At the same time, Chris said, CNN sure won’t meander in the middle:


“One of the biggest misconceptions about my vision is that I want to be vanilla, that I want to be centrist. That is bull****.”

In case anyone misunderstood:

“You have to be compelling. You have to have edge.”

Over the years, CNN’s had oodles of edge:

CNN’s Brian Stelter Believes You May Get Vaccinated if Only Fox News Stars Will Show You Selfies

This Just in From CNN: Daylight Saving Time Is Racist

CNN Reporter Jim Acosta: Trump Will Soon Become ‘Another Crackpot on the Internet’

CNN Sees a Racist Future Full of Nonwhite White Supremacists

Don Lemon Can’t Say American Whites View Black People as Human

To his credit, Don has been consistent in maintaining the network was never liberal. In June of last year, he made the following claim to PBS:

“I don’t do opinion. And I know — the difference for me is I do point of view.”

As for centrism, he’s good with it — it’s the Democrat way. He explained such to former Clinton Administration spokesman Joe Lockhart in 2020:

“[I]’ve been giving people the facts about the Democratic party, that it’s actually a centrist party…”

Consistency is key. And if one of CNN’s biggest stars believes it’s never been liberal, and if he plans for the outlet to stay anti-opinion, then it’ll presumably continue to be what it’s been.

“By the nature of what we do,” Don told Stephen, “we have to hold people to account. And so that doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re going liberal or conservative or whatever. It just means that we’re doing what we do — that’s good journalism.”


A continuance of good journalism sounds great.



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