CNN's Don Lemon indeed has a flair for the dramatic. When he taxis down his moral runway and commences his dramatic takeoffs, he fills his soliloquies against conservatives, Republicans — and particularly President Donald Trump — with plaintive sighs and lengthy, rather uncomfortable pauses during which he stares at viewers or makes faces.
Image source: YouTube screenshot
Image source: YouTube screenshot
During Lemon's Monday night program, he berated Trump over his behavior at a White House coronavirus press briefing earlier in the day for "taking time to argue with reporters and air his grievances."
At issue for Trump were questions from Fox News' Kristin Fisher and ABC News' Jonathan Karl about a report from the HHS Office of the Inspector General about hospital shortages of coronavirus testing kits and medical masks — and Lemon didn't like Trump's attitude.
"This is a president who just cannot handle the truth," he noted. "A president who has to make everything about him. He needs to be praised at every second. He is so thin-skinned. A president who just loses it whenever he hears someone or something that he perceives as criticism."
After one particular tense exchange between Trump and the media, Lemon asked, "Did you ever think you'd hear the president of the United States react that way? Ever? I know some of you think it's cute. It's not. It's sad. It's sad."
'Mad as hell'
Soon Lemon flipped on his pause-and-sigh switch for viewers and to add more drama to the mix invoked the name of a noted character from "Network," the critically acclaimed 1970s movie about television news that in many ways has come true in the last few decades.
"I have to be honest with you," Lemon confessed. "For the last couple of weeks, when I walk into this building, I get in front of this camera, I swear I feel like I'm in the movie 'Network.' I feel like Howard Beale. Americans are mad as hell. What are you going to — how much more can Americans take?"
"Every single day berating people, lying," he added before bringing up a debunked left-wing talking point about Trump. "First, '[The coronavirus is] a hoax.' Then, 'All along I knew it was serious. It was a pandemic.' How much more? How many people have to die?"
Lemon ended his segment by invoking the fictional newsman Beale once again: "Americans, are you mad as hell? How much more are you going to take?"
Don Lemon Channels Howard Beale in Ripping Trump: 'Are You Mad as Hell?' youtu.be
Megyn Kelly can't take much more of Lemon
With that former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly ripped off Lemon's mask:
"CNN still pretends [Lemon] is an objective news anchor (yeah, sure) while the [mainstream media] recoils in horror at the bias of Fox/OANN, etc.," Kelly wrote. "Who do they think they're kidding?"
Indeed, Lemon is listed on CNN's website as the "anchor" of his program, a title traditionally reserved for journalists who deliver the news with, shall we say, a bit more objectivity.
"He is a host of an opinion driven show in which his opinions are front and center. Thus, he is a host rather than a news anchor," DePauw University professor and media critic Jeffrey McCall told Fox News less than a year ago. "People who watch his show surely know all of this and are happy to hear his insights. His show does discuss news topics, but it is not designed as an objective news show."
Oh, and if you haven't been introduced to the Academy Award-winning performance of Peter Finch, the actor who played Howard Beale in "Network," feast you eyes and ears on this:
I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore! Speech from Network (1080p) youtu.be