CNN’s Don Lemon has been ranked among Columbia Journalism Review’s “Worst Journalism Of 2014” list over a series of controversial gaffes he made on live television throughout the year.
In a post by CJR fellow David Uberti, Lemon’s mistakes were bared full-frontal:
On March 20, he asked guests whether Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 could have been swallowed by a black hole: “I know it’s preposterous, but is it preposterous?” He later compared spanking children to training dogs and probed similarities between the release of US Army POW Bowe Bergdahl and the Showtime series Homeland. When an alleged Bill Cosby rape victim appeared on his show on Nov. 18, he lectured, “You know, there are ways not to perform oral sex if you didn’t want to do it…Meaning the use of teeth, right?” Less than a week later, as protests turned violent in Ferguson, MO, he described the scene: “Obviously, there’s a smell of marijuana in the air.” Lemon’s job isn’t easy. But he’s earned a DART for going there. Obviously.
Lemon didn’t take all the hits though. Joining him on the list were Rolling Stone magazine for publishing a story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia later revealed to be a hoax and Fox & Friends over comments made by Brian Kilmeade during the Ray Rice domestic abuse scandal when he said “I think the message is, take the stairs” in response to video footage of Rice cold-cocking his then-fiancee Janay Palmer in the elevator.
CNN’s Carol Costello appeared nowhere on the list for mocking an audio tape of Bristol Palin where she distressingly recounted an assault she and her sister endured to a police officer. Leading into the segment, Costello gleefully chuckled while referring to the leaked tape as “possibly the best minute and a half of audio we’ve ever come across” and told her audience to “sit back and enjoy.” Somehow, that didn’t make the cut.