Former CNN anchor Don Lemon gave his first interview Saturday since being fired from the news network, saying he doesn’t “have to be in a rush” to return to TV.
Speaking to ABC’s Memphis affiliate ABC24, Lemon said that he is going to take his time to figure what his future holds and spent the next several months away from the cameras.
“I’m not gonna force anything,” Lemon said. “I’m not gonna let other people’s timeline influence me. I know people say, ‘I miss you on television. What is your next move?’ I’m figuring that out. I don’t have to be in a rush. I think sometimes people rush to make decisions and they end up making the wrong decisions.”
He added that he will stick to his journalistic principles wherever his next job takes him and that he has “a responsibility not only as a journalist but as an American to tell the truth.”
“I don’t believe in platforming liars, and bigots, and 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,” Lemon said. “I think that would be a dereliction of journalistic duty doing those sorts of things. That is what has gotten me to this point, and that is what is going to carry me forward.”
Lemon was dismissed in April by CNN CEO Chris Licht — who himself was fired by Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav earlier this month — after he made sexist and ageist comments in February about former South Carolina governor and 2024 Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, who said in a shot at President Joe Biden that presidents over the age of 75 should be given “competency tests.”
“This whole talk about age makes me uncomfortable. I think it’s the wrong road to go down. She know, politicians are suddenly not in their prime,” he said. “Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime. Sorry. When a woman is considered in her prime in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.”
According to the New York Times, Lemon was “stunned” by his ousting, which reportedly came after Lemon got into a heated exchange with GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy over Second Amendment gun rights and Black history after Ramaswamy accused Democrats of wanting to put Black people “back in chains.” Under Licht’s leadership, CNN pushed more for interviews with top Republicans, hosting town halls with Donald Trump and Mike Pence.
Don Lemon Gives First Interview Since CNN Firing: ‘I’m Not Gonna Force’ a Return to TV. Don Lemon Gives First Interview Since CNN Firing: ‘I’m Not Gonna Force’ a Return to TV