CNN was one of the networks that helped coin the phrase “fake news,” but now, that same phrase appears to be haunting the network and its all-too-easily triggered anchors and reporters. Don Lemon became the latest casualty of CNN’s fake news designation on Friday after he essentially walked off the set after getting blasted for peddling lies.
The “CNN Tonight” seemed like business as usual, as a panel discussed the costs of protecting First Lady Melania Trump as she resides in New York and questioned whether President Donald Trump is a hypocrite for spending weekends at Mar-a-Lago even though he criticized former President Barack Obama for his golfing habit.
Things took an interesting turn, though, when Lemon called on panelist Paris Dennard to weigh in on the topic.
“I think this is fake news. This is not a news story,” Dennard said flat-out, prompting his fellow panelists to laugh and jeer. “The president is not breaking any laws and he’s doing anything. It’s not his fault…” he continued, before a visibly irritated Lemon interjected.
“I’m gonna let you finish, but do you actually know what the definition of ‘fake news’ is?” Lemon quizzed.
“What we’re doing right now, because this is not a story” Dennard fired back.
In response, Lemon once again bulldozed over Dennard’s attempts to defend himself so that he could give his own definition of “fake news.”
“Fake news is when you put out a story to intentionally deceive someone and you know that it is wrong. I don’t know of anyone who has put out a story – in the mainstream media that I can think of right now – to, that, to intentionally deceive anyone,” Lemon stuttered, blasting fake news as a “stupid talking point.”
When Dennard finally got a chance to speak, he began to claim that the story was fake news “in my opinion” – only for Lemon to put a hand up, abruptly end the segment, and storm off the set.