CNN network host Don Lemon is fuming following a report that New York Times’ management has banned its journalists from appearing on his “partisan” program.
According to Vanity Fair, the Times is once again re-enforcing a policy barring its reporters from appearing on cable news programs perceived as overly partisan. In addition to Lemon’s program, CNN Tonight, which airs between 10 and 11 p.m. EST, the newspaper is also asking reporters to avoid MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell and the Rachel Maddow Show.
In a statement to the Daily Beast, Lemon attempted to downplay the apparent blacklist but was apparently stung by the report. “It would be extremely shortsighted if they are [banning reporters from my show] when journalism is under attack,” he told editor-at-large Lloyd Grove. “We should support each other. Period.”
The Times’ Executive Editor Dean Baquet told the Beast that the policy in question has always been in effect, and it should not be perceived as a judgment on these particular programs. “We have always had a rule saying reporters should be wary of going on very clearly opinionated shows,” Baquet wrote in a text message. “It isn’t meant as a commentary on any show, just our view that hard-hitting stories like the ones we are doing should stand on their own.”
Meanwhile, in an apparent shot at the Times, an unnamed senior MSNBC executive told the Beast: “The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal and most every other publication in America have confidence that their reporters are capable of explaining and defining their journalism to many different audiences. Hopefully the Times will come to recognize that, too.”