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'I believe my government is looking out for me': Don Lemon defends COVID response, online censorship in Nelk Boys interview
Photo by YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images

'I believe my government is looking out for me': Don Lemon defends COVID response, online censorship in Nelk Boys interview

Hosts Bradley Martyn and Kyle Forgeard pressed Lemon on social media 'misinformation.'

Former network host Don Lemon was pressed on his positions about the government's COVID-19 response, online censorship, and the views he expressed as a host on CNN.

Lemon sat down with personalities Kyle Forgeard and Aaron "Steiny" Steinberg from the Nelk Boys, as well as entrepreneur Bradley Martyn for the "Full Send Podcast" that saw tougher questioning than audiences would see on most network news broadcasts.

Lemon faced significant pushback from Martyn and Forgeard regarding his stances on the COVID-19 vaccines and the spread of online "misinformation."

The former CNN anchor's position was that he predominantly believed that the information given by vaccine advocates, health officials, and the government was generally in good faith and had the goal of saving "the most amount of people."

"Did they make mistakes along the way? Absolutely, but that's life," Lemon said. The 58-year-old explained that he thought not getting vaccinated or not wearing a mask was "selfish" and that citizens should have been doing what was best for their fellow man.

'I paid $2,000 for a fake [vaccine card].'

Martyn pushed back, however.

"The COVID vaccine is here now, take it," Martyn summarized the overarching narrative as. "Listening to [Chris] Cuomo speak and what other people are talking about now, they knew there was other methods that people could have done, Ivermectin was one of them."

"I believe in medicine, I believe in science, and I believe my government is looking out for me and trying to do the best for me," Lemon replied. "Scientists, doctors ... if virologists are telling me that this vaccine is safe, and Ivermectin has no effect on the virus, then I'm going to take the vaccine."

Lemon then disagreed with Forgeard when he said the media was shaming people if they weren't vaccinated and that deaths were then the fault of the unvaccinated.

"I think the people were being selfish about that. If you don't want to get the vaccine then don't get the vaccine, but don't be expected to be able to do and go places where people are who got the vaccine."

"And work, and make a living, right?" Martyn interjected. "Couldn't you have seen that the whole legacy media was saying, 'You need this,' and to a lot of people it was like, 'Is this just about protecting and helping people or this about Big Pharma and big business?'"

Lemon called that a "conspiracy theory" and again cited that the virus was "something nobody knew about, something that was new and that was killing people."

After Forgeard and Martyn revealed they did not get vaccinated, and Lemon did, Forgeard noted that he obtained a fake vaccine card.

"I paid $2,000 for a fake one."

'Me, personally, it's not for me to decide, but I think there is an inherent advantage when someone plays in a women's sport and perhaps they are stronger.'

Limiting 'misinformation'

"This was an usual time in the entire world, we don't live in that time now, and things have eased up," Lemon said about online censorship, excusing the removal of opinions he said would have been misinformation.

Martyn pointed out that while Lemon was able to go on network television shows and talk about his opinion on the matter, content creators, himself included, literally could not go online and express countering opinions.

"Some people knew, but they were silenced," Martyn continued. "I can accept [that it's over] but ... it's about the people whose lives were ruined, you can't just go, 'It's over sorry, it's different now.'"

Lemon then tried to compare ruined lives from COVID lockdowns to those who were put in jail for smoking pot.

"I think if people are spreading misinformation and lies ... I believe in freedom of speech, but I think if people are actively spreading misinformation that's going to hurt people and if it's going to put their lives or safety and their health at risk then I think it should be corrected," he added.

"It's just so impossible to find misinformation at such an early stage of a virus, too. Who decides what's misinformation?" Forgeard countered.

Transgender theory

The topic shifted to transgender athletes playing against women, with Steinberg noting that women had a "spectacular year" in sports, only for the South Carolina women's basketball coach to state that men should be able to play in women's basketball.

"Do you think biological men should be able to play in women's sports?" Forgeard asked Lemon directly.

"I think that it should be studied, but I do think ..." Lemon replied.

"What are you studying?" Forgeard asked.

"Physically, men are stronger and faster than women. So, I have questions about it myself. Me, personally, it's not for me to decide, but I think there is an inherent advantage when someone plays in a women's sport and perhaps they are stronger," Lemon clarified.

The answer mirrored many of the former CNN host's replies, which were appeals to authority whether it referred to doctors, health officials, educators, and more.

The latter was used when he was asked about children being taught gender theory in school.

"I don't think there's anything wrong with kids having knowledge," he said about children, citing that he was not an educator, so it wasn't his place to say.

Forgeard asked if that included telling children "they can be whatever gender they want." Lemon compared it to being told that he could be Superman when he was a child.

"We all had very similar things told to us," Lemon retorted.

"Career-wise, not gender-wise," Forgeard clarified.

"I don't believe as a whole that kids are being indoctrinated into anything," Lemon said, citing that he went to Catholic school and still was gay.

The podcasters also asked Lemon to clarify what LGBTQ+ stood for and why gays are grouped in with transgender people. Forgeard remarked Lemon's explanation was easier to understand than that of a transgender person.

"I think the gay people are better spokesman for the trans people, because the trans people are not that good at defending their own issues."

"It takes a gay person to come in and really defend them logically."

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Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados

Andrew Chapados is a writer focusing on sports, culture, entertainment, gaming, and U.S. politics. The podcaster and former radio-broadcaster also served in the Canadian Armed Forces, which he confirms actually does exist.
@andrewsaystv →