A former CNN producer is speaking out this week to call out host Don Lemon, who he says is hurting the network with his “divisive” and “boring” show. He also said that CNN as a whole has shown “a lack of self-awareness” during the Donald Trump era.
Former CNN senior digital producer Steve Krakauer cited a series of “embarrassing” moments from Lemon, like lecturing actor Terry Crews about Black Lives Matter and laughing when a guest mocked Trump supporters.
“It’s unfortunate, and it hurts CNN. I enjoyed working with Don, and he has a staff that is full of talented people. But the current dismissiveness of anything resembling dissent on his show – any straying from the company line – makes his program one of the more divisive on CNN, and, frankly, one of the more boring too,” Krakauer told Fox News.
He added that though Lemon was once enjoyable to watch, “that was the pre-Trump Don Lemon,” adding that the host telling Crews that Black Lives Matter has nothing to do with black-on-black gun violence was “particularly divisive and embarrassing” for CNN.
“It was Lemon at his most arrogant and ignorant,” Krakauer explained. “Lemon’s biggest talent was his curiosity — it allowed his viewers to relate to him. Segments like the interview with Crews show the curiosity is sadly gone.”
Krakauer then shifted to targeting Anderson Cooper, who he said was “fear-mongering about COVID-19″ when he asked a doctor if kids going back to school in the fall will cause people to die.
Hard to get more fear-mongering about COVID-19 than this from Anderson Cooper tonight to the director of the IHME: “Kids going back to school, if that happens, that means more people will die?"
(To his credit, Dr. Murray did not say “yes” necessarily)… But also, about IHME 1/ pic.twitter.com/ZIgu1IBr7B
— Steve Krakauer (@SteveKrak) July 8, 2020
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Steve Cortes is a former pro-Trump CNN pundit who now works as the spokesperson for America First, a pro-Trump Super PAC. He wrote on Twitter this week that a recent segment in which Lemon and Chris Cuomo downplayed a recent surge in violence in American cities was a “new low” for the network.
A new low for my former network, CNN.@donlemon and @ChrisCuomo actually mock the worries of people who live in dangerous cities. I’m one of those concerned citizens — and we don’t deserve such mocking condescension.pic.twitter.com/kF6gS3VWDF
— Steve Cortes (@CortesSteve) July 8, 2020
“[Lemon] and [Cuomo] actually mock the worries of people who live in dangerous cities. I’m one of those concerned citizens — and we don’t deserve such mocking condescension,” he added.
Krakauer said the real problem here is that the network sees itself in an “existential fight” with the president.
“I think it [if] many CNN employees stepped back and could view the coverage objectively, they’d agree that there is an ‘angle’ to coverage that previously simply presented facts,” Krakauer said. “It’s unfortunate because I still think CNN can serve a valuable audience. But too often there is an instinctual mechanism to pull back from opinion that is missing from what their hosts say, to what they write in their tweets.”