Don Lemon may not always stop to verify his reporting, but that doesn’t stop him from passing it off as factual.
The CNN anchor apologized on Thursday night after falsely claiming during a Wednesday segment that Fox News failed to cover the resignation of White House Communications Director Hope Hicks – even though the network was on the story as soon as it broke, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
“I said something last night that was an attempt to make a broader point about Fox News and how they downplay bad news about the administration,” Lemon told a CNN panel Thursday.
He called his critique of Fox News’ Hope Hicks coverage a “bad example,” but stood by his assertion that the rival network will “downplay” stories unfavorable to President Trump.
“I think you understood it,” he continued. “Most people understood it. It was saying that — I think it was a bad example about Hope Hicks, but there was a broader context if you watched the entire show about how Fox hadn’t covered — they hadn’t covered it at all, but how they broadly downplay big stories and important news for this White House.”
When one of Lemon’s guests suggested Fox News had downplayed the story, Lemon reiterated his mistake.
“It wasn’t particularly this, but they had covered it, though. That was a bad example and so apologies for that.”
He also issued an apology on Twitter.
FYI.. Last night, in an attempt to make a broader point about Fox News prime time I misspoke. I should have been more specific.
— Don Lemon (@donlemon) March 1, 2018
“FYI.. Last night, in an attempt to make a broader point about Fox News prime time I misspoke,” Lemon wrote. “I should have been more specific.”
That’s a heck of an apology. Why bother?
On Wednesday, Lemon claimed Trump supporters “don’t even know” about stories like the Hope Hicks resignation because they allegedly aren’t covered on Fox News, which the CNN anchor called “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,” he said, and then added:
“So, Trump supporters, they don’t even know about these stories. It doesn’t even register, that’s the amazing thing. We cover all of these things every day.
“The White House imploding behind him, and he’s standing there going, ‘nothing to see here.’ His supporters probably don’t even realize the extent of it.”
As the Free Beacon noted, Fox News began reporting on Hope Hicks’ White House departure at 4:40pm–just ten minutes after the New York Times broke the story. They then reported it every hour after that, often devoting entire segments to the news.
Fox News’ John Roberts fired back at Lemon’s claim on Twitter.
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. https://t.co/Jdci8XRezL
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) March 1, 2018
A number of viewers also pushed back at Lemon.
You didn’t “misspeak.” You knew you were lying. And if you deny that, then it means you aren’t much of a journalist. You made it up. Shameful.
— George Carl (@georgecarl1955) March 2, 2018
Were you drinking on air again? You know how that went last time. Not good.
— Griffin’s Daughter (@laineymel) March 1, 2018
Don lemon, would be a perfect panelist on the view
— Geno Norvell (@GenoNorvell) March 1, 2018
Oh hell no…….. Don Lemon lied? What alternative universe have people been in where Don Lemon told the truth?
— Felonia Von Pantsuit (@GoVols37872) March 2, 2018
Just for clarification, Don Lemon spreading #FakeNews is not news.
Don Lemon correctly reporting the news is big news.
— Conservative Cat Lady (@catlady4christ) March 3, 2018
Yet another example of the liberals not letting facts get in the way of their propaganda.
— Tommy Lambert (@TommyLambertOKC) March 3, 2018
don lemon complains about fake news
let that sink in
— Slick Willy (@SlickWillyPOTUS) March 1, 2018