CNN host Don Lemon left “The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert visibly stunned when he said he never believed the network is “liberal.”
Despite the network commonly being regarded as a major left-of-center network, especially throughout the Trump administration, Lemon says CNN is just practicing “good journalism.”
“Word on the street is that you guys aren’t allowed to be liberal anymore. Is that the case?” Colbert asked.
“I don’t think we ever were liberal,” Lemon responded.
“Well listen, I think what Chris is saying is that he wants Republicans – sensible Republicans, he wants us to hold people to account, but he wants people to come on and feel comfortable with coming on and talking on CNN and appearing on CNN,” Lemon said. “So if you invite someone to your house, you want to make them comfortable but also by the nature of what we do, we have to hold people to account.”
“And so that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going liberal or conservative or whatever, it just means that we are doing what we do and that’s good journalism,” Lemon added.
“So accountable but not confrontational,” Colbert said.
“I think sometimes one must be confrontational,” the CNN host pushed back. “Look, I don’t think that a conversation on television should be any different than a conversation in person. Listen, I have confrontational conversations with people I love and I have unconformable conversations with people I love and I think it’s necessary. And I think it’s also necessary to do that on television, on CNN, but you can do that without being vitriolic. I think not being vitriolic is maybe a better way of putting it, but you can do that and not have vitriol. As people say, you can disagree without being disagreeable. And so I think that’s what our mission is.”
Since taking the reigns from disgraced ex-CNN president Jeff Zucker, Christ Licht has made it his mission to re-vamp the network.