Don Lemon Turns on Friend Jussie Smollett, Ignores Helping Him

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CNN anchor Don Lemon turned on his friend Jussie Smollett on Thursday, hours after a court found Smollett guilty on five counts of disorderly conduct for staging a hate crime.

“[Smollett] had to make up too many lies as to why he didn’t want to do certain things,” Lemon said.

“To cover. Like another lie – and I guess he got caught up in that because he took the stand himself.

“He got angry with the prosecutor as the prosecutor poked holes in his story – -calling the only other witnesses liars.'”

Lemon’s critique of Smollett is accurate: Smollett is a liar. Yet, Lemon again noticeably failed to disclose his own role in assisting Smollett while the case was still under investigation.

Earlier this week, Smollett testified that Lemon had tipped him off in 2019 that the police didn’t believe his made-up hoax.

Lemon “meddled with [the] police investigation,” the Daily Mail concluded.

From Smollett’s testimony, we also learned that Lemon texted Smollett “every day” in 2019 to check on his well-being because the case was “personal” to Lemon.

Lemon’s role in Smollett’s case comes at an inopportune time for CNN. The network just fired another primetime host, Chris Cuomo, for journalistic malpractice last week.

Still, I wouldn’t expect CNN or Lemon to address this elephant in the room. CNN responded to Chris Cuomo only after its allies in the press made it a story. From the Washington Post to the New York Times, media pundits across the industry demanded CNN react to Cuomo assisting his brother.

Meanwhile, the outrage toward Lemon for tipping off Smollett is comparably mild. Why is that? Is Lemon so sacred that no one dares to challenge him for his behavior? CNN is already facing questions, even internally, about its reputation for journalism, and this week, Lemon only furthered those doubts.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.


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  1. Smollett: ‘The True Attackers Were Inside Me All Along’

    CHICAGO, IL—In a stirring moment that left judge, jury, bailiff, and typewriter lady in tears, actor Jussie Smollett paused while reciting his well-rehearsed testimony, stood, and proclaimed, “Now I see, clear as day, that the true attackers were inside me all along.”

    “We knew he had it inside of him, and it was our job to help him see for himself what we’ve seen in him all along,” said lead prosecutor.

    Smollett apologized to the two Nigerian co-conspirators and asked them to stop emailing him about their rich uncle, gave credit to the police for looking past his story to see the real Jussie Smollett, and thanked both of his fans for standing by him during this difficult time.

    The bailiff then wiped his tears, handcuffed Smollett, and dragged him off to jail.

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