This video is a puppet show. And Jeff Zucker is running it.
Don Lemon begins a conversation during the hand-off to Chris Cuomo. Cuomo has once again hosted serial liar Kellyanne Conway for an interview. She lied during the entire segment, no surprise.
And Don Lemon said the right words: “For me, it feels beneath the dignity of this network to have someone on who just constantly lies and misconstrues things.”
So who decides, ultimately, who gets questioned on CNN? Hint: It’s not Chris Cuomo.
This whole “debate” is why we can’t have nice things. For cable news, “News” is a marketable product rather than the truth, and it’s been that way for decades. Trump supporters want Trump supporting words on the screen, and even though it might be distasteful for some of the hosts, management will not cut out that segment of the audience for any reason.
I saw this at my own local newspaper. Many many sane people asked the editorial board there why for the past two years they have syndicated Ann Coulter’s column. The reason given, quite directly, was that the editorial page must have a pro-Trump voice. Trump supporters subscribe to the newspaper, and it won’t do to alienate them. Interestingly, that meant that conservatives who were against Trump were being sidelined in favor of (until recently) Ann Coulter.
Now that Ann Coulter is fighting with Trump they’ve switched over to Hugh Hewitt.
And so the Overton window as to what is “debate” on our local editorial page is Hugh Hewitt versus Eugene Robinson. You can read more about the nightmare that is our local editorial page at Driftglass’s recent and excellent post, where we discover that the letters to the editor are, well, predictable from the right.
Don Lemon is indeed a voice of sanity regarding Kellyanne Conway, but he is also an enabler. His “tsk tsk” allows the network to argue that there’s someone at CNN with integrity. But they all have the same boss and answer to the same board. It’s a fake fight unless someone calls out Jeff Zucker and the executive board at CNN.