Lemon defends his former outlet’s ‘good’ Russiagate coverage: ‘You may disagree with it. That’s your bias.’

Don Lemon’s response to questions about his former network’s Russia collusion coverage left many asking: “Can that guy ever tell the truth?”

(Video: Counter Points)

Ofter referred to by former President Donald Trump as “Russia, Russia, Russia,” the collusion narrative that ran rampant on corporate media since his step into politics had readily been determined a hoax. That reality didn’t stop Lemon, a former CNN talking head, from defending his years-long employer for their “good” coverage regarding Russiagate or his own biases with the claim, “There’s opinion journalism.”

Appearing on Friday’s “Counter Points,” co-hosts Ryan Grim and Emily Jashinsky challenged the commentator over how CNN started “to sound kind of like a Democratic mouthpiece” prompting significant pushback, particularly on Russia.

“The Russia coverage on CNN was…good. I think the Russia coverage in the media was good. I don’t think that it was bad. You may disagree with it. That’s your bias,” leveled Lemon. “But actually, the coverage was good. And I think that people are smart enough to discern what’s true and what’s not, what’s real and what’s not. And so, I don’t think that the coverage was that bad. I don’t fall into that category.”

“And I think people were — look, I think people sort of romanticize the time that we were in, like people romanticize, you know, COVID and the protocols that were in place, and this was bad, and that was bad. They don’t remember the time that we were in,” he continued with something of a revisionist history argument. “I think that the media did the best job that they could at the time. I don’t think that it was terrible. We can always look back, you know, from being armchair quarterback, Monday morning quarterback and saying ‘Oh, you should have done this.’ Shoulda, woulda, coulda. We didn’t.”

While the former CNN host contended corrections had been made in the case of errors, his defense on the Russia narrative neglected to remind how one early instance had required threat of a $100 million libel lawsuit that had reportedly led to a retraction and terminations over the claim that Congress had been investigating Trump transition team member Anthony Scaramucci over Russia ties.

Lemon, who had previously argued against claims of network bias, stood in defense of “opinion journalism” when Grim called out CNN’s leftist leanings.

“I don’t agree with the premise of what you’re saying and when people put it in that context…We all view life through a certain lens, whether we’re journalists or not…It is actually okay to be a journalist and have an opinion,” said the commentator. “There’s opinion journalism. So I don’t believe in that BS about, you know, journalists just have to sit there and go, ‘What do you think, what do you think, okay, fine.’ That’s not how it works…That was the zenith, I believe, of CNN during that time.”

“And it may have looked, I think, that we had moved to the left of that, you know, we were somehow becoming an arm of the Democratic Party. That was only because of the Republican side, and mostly Donald Trump and the MAGA wing of the Republican Party,” came the finger-pointing. “The facts were not on their side.”

“So, by the simple fact of pointing out that someone is lying, that you’re getting misinformation, it may make people think that, ‘Oh, my God, you must be on the Democrat side.’ No, you’re on the side of truth,” claimed Lemon who was called out over his own instances of laughing about “credulous Boomer rubes” supporting Trump among his many remarks that accused the president’s supporters of having “cognitive dissonance.”

Reactions to the commentary suggested few had been left with wonder why Lemon’s venture on X had so swiftly been nixed by billionaire Elon Musk.

Kevin Haggerty

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