News & Opinion | June 22, 2018 10:00 am

Don Lemon Defends CNN’s “Down The Middle” Reporting

Comedian Stephen Colbert and CNN anchor play a game: Which headline is real?

Don Lemon on Stephen Colbert's 'Late Show' (YouTube)
Don Lemon on Stephen Colbert's 'Late Show' (YouTube)

Stephen Colbert made CNN anchor Don Lemon play a game on Late Show Thursday night where Lemon had to guess which headlines from his network were real versus made up by Colbert’s staff writers.

“I love your lower thirds, I love the things that appear at the bottom of the screen that gives you a little boil down, a basic idea of what the story is that night,” Colbert said. “But some of them can almost seem like jokes.”

Before Lemon and Colbert played the game, Lemon said that he thinks it’s important for journalists to focus less on the president’s daily Twitter feed, and more on his actions that affect policy.

“I think one of the issues is that sometimes, we put too much pressure or too much substance on what he’s writing on Twitter all the time, and I think we should be a little more judicious about what we put on television and what we talk about,” Lemon said, acknowledging a tweet from the president that called Lemon the “dumbest man on television.”

“If he’s talking about immigration…if he says something about that fine, but calling a journalist dumb, I wouldn’t even put it on television, I don’t care, it’s a badge of honor.”

Lemon went on to say that covering the current administration is “exhausting” because of how rapidly the news cycle changes throughout the day—“Every night it’s like drinking news from a firehouse”—but said he thinks there is an “opportunity” for all of America.

“It is offering us the opportunity to figure out who we’re going to be,” Lemon said of Trump’s administration. “Are we going to be the people who shut people out and put them in cages, and put them in camps? And separate them from their children? Or are we going to be a nation that welcomes people in, with rules, of course, and be the America that we’re supposed to be, the shining city on the hill?”

Take a look at the clip below.