Gone And Apparently Not Forgotten..
The Wrap’s Jordan Chariton writes about Jeff Zucker fielding a question about Don Lemon and his most recent boomerang stunt…
At an internal CNN town hall event Wednesday, CNN president Jeff Zucker defended primetime anchor Don Lemon’s on-air use of a sign emblazoned with the N-word.
A CNN insider told TheWrap that Zucker was asked about the stunt that opened Lemon’s show in June in the wake of President Obama’s use of the word during a podcast and of the Charleston church massacre.
“Zucker said it’s not something for a daily basis, but Don was trying to make a point,” the insider said. The person who asked seemed concerned with Lemon’s actions, which many media observers condemned as a classless stunt.
I’m not going to fault Zucker for answering a question that he had to know would leak out and bring that gaffe back to the fore again. He was in an impossible no win situation. If he ducks the question, word leaks out that he ducked it. Zucker can’t win here.
Nor am I going to fault Zucker for standing up for Lemon. What’s he supposed to do? Throw him under the bus in front of the rest of CNN’s staff?
My question lies with the leaker. What was the point of this? To stick it to Lemon by bringing that up again? Or to show that Zucker has his back?
And then there’s this…
As TheWrap reported, Lemon’s antics have paid off in the ratings, a sign that might justify promoting the anchor to the 8 p.m. time slot currently held by Anderson Cooper.
Anderson Cooper is essentially the face of CNN. You could make an argument for Blitzer because of how much exposure he gets on dayside but primetime rules. So if Lemon were to push Cooper out at 8, that would be interpreted by many to mean CNN now thinks Don Lemon is the face of CNN. I’m not sure everyone at CNN would be comfortable with that designation.