Don Lemon questioned his own network's editorial decisions on Tuesday during the 2020 presidential election. On air, Lemon wondered if it was right for CNN to broadcast President Donald Trump's remarks live in the afternoon, noting that it could work as "propaganda" for those who are still heading to the polls.
Trump gave a press conference on Tuesday live from his Virginia campaign headquarters, and CNN opted to broadcast the speech live. Later on, Lemon said that he was "not sure if we should be running this propaganda video as people are still going to the polls to vote today because not much of what he said, if anything, was true." Whether they agreed with him or not, many were surprised to hear Lemon voice such a grievance on the air, potentially making his network look bad. Some praised the anchor for speaking out.
"There was a lot to fact check there because basically, we heard a lot of propaganda from the President of the United States, and I'm sure you can help me through it," Lemon said to his co-anchor Erin Burnett. Still, since the speech was already out there, Lemon dug into it with fact-checking and analysis.
"So, there's so much to talk about," he began. He pointed out that Trump continues to sow distrust in mail-in ballots and the counting process, despite definitive proof that there is nothing insecure about the procedure. Lemon said: "there's nothing unusual about the votes being counted after Election Day."
"The specific quote that he said 'Winning is easy, losing is never easy,' especially for me, I think that's very telling," he went on.
According to a report by The Daily Beast, Lemon's remarks come amid a fear within the media industry that Trump will use one news network or another to declare victory prematurely on Tuesday night. This act would likely be illegitimate since the election results may not be known for days. According to The Associated Press, the only way the results could be known on election night itself is for several swing states to vote the same way.
The states Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin will not be allowed to begin counting mail-in ballots until the polls close on Tuesday, and the process is expected to take a long time. Since all three are swing states, they could be the deciding factor in the election, so it is vital to wait for their results before declaring an election winner.