By Joseph Wulfsohn
Published August 30, 2019
CNN's anti-Trump anchor Don Lemon on Thursday night told Trump surrogates who attack the media and "lie all day long" that appearing on CNN "is a privilege" and "not a right."
Following his colleague Chris Cuomo's "closing argument" that lambasted Kayleigh McEnany, the national press secretary for the Trump campaign, for claiming that President Trump doesn't "lie," Lemon began their nightly handoff by reading the Merrian-Webster's definition of the word "lie."
"A lie is a lie all day long," Lemon said. "For these folks to say he doesn't lie or that you're maybe misunderstanding how he's communicating- that's rich."
Lemon knocked Trump defenders who attack the media, insisting they apologize "when the media gets it wrong."
He went on to suggest to Cuomo that he shouldn't allow McEnany on his show again.
"Listen, I don't want to go back over last night, but you know, it was a topic of discussion today among people about whether or not, you know, people are deceiving whether or not you should even give them the space to do it," Lemon told Cuomo.
Cuomo then challenged the "CNN Tonight" host on how he would "conduct the journalism of vetting" the Trump campaign if he doesn't allow anyone who represents it onto his show, which Lemon countered by saying "you can have people on who represent it" but don't have to sit through the "lies."
"We have Trump supporters on all the time and we hold them accountable to the truth and they don't make excuses for everything this president does," Lemon explained. "But there are those like the one who was on last night- excuses about everything."
"It's the job of us to test and expose and let people see it for what it is- one: so that they can believe their eyes and ears, and two: if they're against it, they know how to oppose it," Cuomo told Lemon.
Lemon dismissed Cuomo's advice from a "normal world" when it was "liberal versus conservative," which he now believes is "truth versus lies."
"I don’t think people need the space to promote propaganda and lies,” Lemon continued. “I think that’s a disservice... It's allowing someone- giving them a platform that they haven't deserved, that they don't deserve.”
"Coming on a major network like CNN- it is a privilege, it is not a right. It has nothing to do with Freedom of Speech or Freedom of Expression. It is a privilege to come on and to be able to talk directly to the American people and if you have that privilege then you should respect the American people and the host of that show and the platform and the company, the brand enough to come on and tell the truth."