CNN anchor Don Lemon wasn’t pleased by the Vanity Fair report saying the New York Times was banning its reporters from appearing on shows it found to be “too partisan,” such as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow’s show and Lawrence O’Donell’s — as well as Don Lemon’s CNN Tonight.
NYT executive editor Dean Bacquet “thinks it’s a real issue,” one of VF’s Times sources said. “Their view,” said another, “is that, intentionally or not, it affiliates the Times reporter with a bias.”
In CNN’s case, according to Vanity Fair’s network source, the only Times contributors who typically go on CNN Tonight are the opinion columnists Charles Blow and Frank Bruni, who aren’t bound by the same strictures as Times newsroom staff.
“We have always had a rule saying reporters should be wary of going on very clearly opinionated shows,” Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet told The Daily Beast. “It isn’t meant as a commentary on any show, just our view that hard hitting stories like the ones we are doing should stand on their own.”
But Lemon doesn’t see it that way.
He told the Daily Beast, “I do not get the sense that they are banning reporters from my show. But, I don’t work for the Times so I can’t be sure.”
“However,” Lemon added, “it would be extremely shortsighted if they are when journalism is under attack. We should support each other. Period.”