CNN Called on to Fire Don Lemon after Smollett Revelation
Pressure mounts on 'news' network after anchor's role in 'hate crime' hoax emerge in court
Calls are mounting on CNN to fire Don Lemon after it emerged in court this week that the "news" network's star anchorman played a role in the "hate crime" hoax orchestrated by disgraced actor Jussie Smollett.
Former "Empire" star Smollett is currently on trial for staging an anti-gay, anti-black hate crime which he tried to blame on supporters of President Donald Trump.
However, while testifying during his own trial, Smollett revealed that Lemon used his CNN resources to get insider information from the Chicago Police Department on their investigations into the failed actor.
As Neon Nettle previously reported, Smollett, 39, testified that he received a text from Lemon, supposedly relaying information that the CPD didn’t believe Smollett's account of what happened.
Smollett told the court that he did not immediately hand over his cell phone to authorities partly because Lemon texted him saying that CPD investigators believed the attack was a hoax.
He said he withheld his phone because he'd “gotten a text from Don Lemon ‘saying he’d gotten a text from CPD saying they don’t believe me,’” according to Chicago Tribune reporter Megan Crepeau.
Crepeau noted that Smollett said he also had a private photo on the device, as well as contact information for “my boss, everybody, my mom, my family, my siblings, there are extremely important activists in my phone, extremely important executives and actors and actresses and singers.”
It is unclear what the text message from Lemon allegedly said.
The social media backlash to the revelation was severe, as highlighted by Newsweek.
“After Jussie Smollett’s testimony that Don Lemon tipped him off to the Chicago PD not believing his story… he should be the next to get tanked from CNN,” politico and author Tim Young posted to Twitter.
After Jussie Smollett's testimony that Don Lemon tipped him off to the Chicago PD not believing his story... he should be the next to get tanked from CNN...— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) December 7, 2021
"Jussie Smollett has admitted that CNN anchor Don Lemon warned him that police were suspicious of his story,” conservative Carmine Sabia posted.
"CNN does not have journalists.
"It has activists
"Time for [Don Lemon] to follow [Chris Cuomo].”
Author Nick Adams commented, “If Don Lemon tipped off Jussie Smollett about police investigating the hate crime hoax, CNN should fire him immediately!”
If Don Lemon tipped off Jussie Smollett about police investigating the hate crime hoax, CNN should fire him immediately!— Nick Adams (@NickAdamsinUSA) December 7, 2021
"More activism by an ‘anchor’ at CNN,” wrote Joe Concha, media columnist at The Hill.
"The network needs to now address this publicly as well.
"These texts from Lemon to Smollett came during an active high-profile investigation.
"CNN mum thus far.”
More activism by an “anchor” at CNN. The network needs to now address this publicly as well. These texts from Lemon to Smollett came during an active high-profile investigation. CNN mum thus far. https://t.co/2sWSMeM5bD— Joe Concha (@JoeConchaTV) December 7, 2021
"Today we found out Don Lemon was helping Jussie obstruct justice,” journalist Jack Posobiec said.
Today we found out Don Lemon was helping Jussie obstruct justice https://t.co/DX7QkltOMP— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) December 7, 2021
Smollett is charged with six counts of felony disorderly conduct for making what prosecutors say was a false police report about the alleged attack.
He is charged with one count for each time he gave a report — to three different officers.
The class 4 felony carries a prison sentence of up to three years.
However, experts have said if celebrity Smollett is convicted, he would likely be placed on probation and ordered to perform community service.