After his shocking departure from CNN news — where he presided as one of their superstar personalities for 17 years — out journalist Don Lemon spoke about his former employer and the importance of the truth.
Lemon, in Memphis, Tenn., to speak at an NAACP event, granted the interview to Rudy Williams of Memphis's ABC affiliate. Williams acknowledged Lemon's connection to the city — the former CNN journalist had become close with the mother of Tyre Nichols, the 29-year-old Black man who died in January at the hands of Memphis police officers.
Lemon seemed to have the weight of history on his shoulders, speaking in larger terms about the importance of truth and equality rather than palace intrigue at CNN. He did acknowledge the network's unsuccessful lurch to the center, where now-fired CNN boss Chris Licht tried to entice Republicans to watch the network by highlighting more conservative voices and opinions.
"In order to fulfill the promise of the Constitution [journalists] have to stand up for what is right, we have to stand up for the truth," Lemon told Williams. "I don't believe in platforming liars and bigots and, you know, insurrectionists and election deniers and putting them on the same footing as people who are telling the truth, people who are fighting for what's right, people who are abiding by the Constitution. I think that would be a dereliction of journalistic duty."
CNN infamously hosted a town hall with Donald Trump in May where the ex-president was allowed to spread his lies to millions.
Lemon said he's weighing his options on his next career move but is enjoying time with his fiancee, real estate agent Tim Malone, and their dogs. "People are more worried about me than I'm worried about myself," Lemon said.
Still, Lemon was shocked by his termination in April. It followed several scandals for the journalist. Lemon came under fire for comments he made on the air about former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley after she announced her candidacy for president.
“Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime, sorry,” Lemon said in February. “When a woman is considered to be in her prime — in her 20s, 30s, and maybe her 40s.”