Politics

Don Lemon’s False Claim About Fox Is ‘Fake News in Its Purest Form’

CNN host erroneously insisted that 'state-run' 'Trump TV' network ignored news of WH communications director Hope Hicks' resignation

Curtis Houck, the managing editor of NewsBusters, ripped into CNN host Don Lemon for falsely claiming that “Trump TV,” Fox News, didn’t report on White House communications director Hope Hicks’ resignation on Wednesday.

In an email to LifeZette on Thursday, Houck said Lemon’s false claim “is fake news in its purest form.”

News of Hicks’ impending resignation broke late Wednesday afternoon. As multiple news outlets pounced on the news — including Fox News — Lemon chose to lash out at Fox during Wednesday’s “CNN Tonight,” referring to the network as President Donald Trump’s “state-run TV.”

“I was sitting in my office and was watching all the news channels, right — Trump TV or state-run TV, they’re not even reporting this,” Lemon claimed. “So, Trump supporters, they don’t even know about these stories. It doesn’t even register. That’s the amazing thing.”

Instead, Lemon touted CNN’s own coverage of the issue (big surprise). He boasted, “We cover all of these things every day.”

“The White House [is] imploding behind [Trump], and he’s standing there going, ‘Nothing to see here,'” Lemon continued. “His supporters probably don’t even realize the extent of it.”

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The big problem here? Fox News covered Hicks’ resignation multiple times prior to Wednesday’s 10 p.m. “CNN Tonight” show. John Roberts, the White House correspondent for Fox News, lambasted Lemon Thursday for spouting fake news.

“WE REPORTED IT MULTIPLE TIMES. I REPORTED IT ON NEIL CAVUTO’S SHOW — AND ON THE FIVE. AND AGAIN AT THE TOP OF THE 6PM SHOW. AND WE DID IT AT THE TOP OF THE 7PM SHOW. CLEARLY SOMEONE IS NOT WATCHING FOX, BUT SAYING THEY ARE,” Roberts tweeted (yes, in all-caps).

Fox News media reporter Brian Flood also tweeted out on Thursday, “CNN’s Don Lemon literally lied to viewers last night by claiming that Fox News didn’t cover the Hope Hicks resignation. @johnrobertsFox first reported it on-air at 4:40 pm and it was covered throughout the evening.”

In his same email to LifeZette, Curtis Houck of NewsBusters also said, Roberts “has every right to be upset and fire back as he has at Lemon’s insidious lies.”

“For CNN, it’s ‘destroy Fox News’ while downplaying or ignoring any falsehoods or scandals out of their own network,” Houck said. “Once again, their liberal bias and Fox obsession was on display, just as you see with every chest-thumping, self-sanctimonious apple ad promoting their ‘Facts First’ campaign.”

Trump has dubbed CNN a “fake news” network on a myriad of occasions, and he has accused CNN of harboring blatant “anti-Trump” bias against him.

In an attempt to defend itself amid those “fake news” claims, CNN launched a “Facts First” campaign last year featuring pieces of fruit.

“This is an apple,” a narrator said. “Some people might try to tell you that it’s a banana. They might scream ‘Banana. Banana. Banana,’ over and over and over again. They might put ‘banana’ in all caps. You might even start to believe that this is a banana. But it’s not.”

Don Gainor, Media Research Center (MRC) vice president of business and culture, told LifeZette in an email on Thursday that Lemon’s false claim is “unsurprising,” given Lemon’s history with the network.

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“Don Lemon has been thought of [as] an unreliable kook even by the Left for some time. He says regular crazy things and reportedly got drunk during a New Year’s Eve broadcast that featured him getting pierced,” Gainor said. “New York magazine did a piece, ‘6 of Don Lemon’s Worst TV Gaffes.’ And liberal Slate titled one: ‘Don Lemon Is the Worst.'”

Gainor added, “Remember, [Lemon] asked if the Malaysian jetliner might have been sucked up by a black hole. He asked an expert who noted that ‘a small black hole would suck in our entire universe.’ Apparently, it didn’t get the universe, but it did suck in Lemon’s credibility.”

“I misspoke. I should have been more specific.”

Lemon addressed the controversy Thursday on Twitter, writing, “FYI … Last night, in an attempt to make a broader point about Fox News prime time, I misspoke. I should have been more specific.”

PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter.

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