So the word comes that the President has given an interview to Time magazine and I may need to comment. I read the interview — found here — and lo and behold there is a reference to, well, me. As follows, with particular reference to my CNN appearances where I vigorously (I hope) and happily (always!) defend the President. The quote:
“And poor Jeffrey Lord. I love Jeffrey Lord. But sometimes he’s sitting there with eight unknown killers that nobody ever heard of.”
Wow. Thank you, Mr. President!
He has said some version of this before and it always makes me chuckle. Indeed, sometimes the panels I sit on are filled with my liberal friends and discussions with CNN hosts can indeed become… ahhhhh… vigorous.
But — since they were mentioned by name — I do want to take a moment to speak up for my CNN colleagues Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon, both of whom were on the end of more scathing presidential reviews.
In the course of the last almost two (!!!) years I have gotten to know both Chris and Don (and of course all the other CNN anchors). I have had a great time and enjoyed always the morning sparring matches with Chris and Alisyn Camerota on New Day and, when doable schedule-wise, on Don Lemon’s CNN Tonight. Sometimes the noise volume picks up. But never for a second have I felt unfairly treated and most certainly I have never been censored or told what I could or could not say. Sometimes I am outnumbered. Bring it on!
Relationships between presidents and the press can be contentious at any given moment, sometimes more, sometimes less. President Trump — to the delight of his fans, of which I am decidedly one — never hesitates to let go when he is talking about the media.
But television anchors have their own job to question people like me, unsparingly. It is always in the eye of the beholder whether questioner “A” has been “fair” to guest “B”. In my case, it is important to speak up for my colleagues — in this case Chris and Don. They have individually always been fair to me — always. Yes, we disagree. That would, of course, be the point. Kumbaya is wonderful in life but lousy when it comes to both debating serious issues — not to mention would it be bad television. I am always provided the opportunity to disagree with Chris and Don — which I always take, sometimes more vigorously than others. And it is true most certainly in reverse. My view? God Bless America!
As I have said many times on CNN air not to mention in print, (as most recently here in this column about the attack on Robert Mercer by a liberal employee) I am a First Amendment fundamentalist. Free speech is nothing if those with whom one disagrees cannot speak their mind.
So here’s to my CNN colleagues Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon. Thanks!
You’re wrong, of course. But thanks!