CNN Tonight anchor Don Lemon was featured in Resident Publications as the cover story, detailing his meteoric rise at CNN.
He pointed out he got his big shot when Erin Burnett took a maternity leave. Then, CNN gave him a shot — he was anchoring weekend evenings for CNN Newsroom, and they tapped him to anchor 7pm for Burnett.
Lemon told the magazine, “I want to be able to inform the American public everyday and to give them the truth and that’s never been more important that it is in this moment, so that’s my motivation every day, and I won’t stop. People around the world watch, and they know what the reality really is, and the truth is my motivator—truth and facts.”
He pointed out that in the Trump era, he is doing lots of fact-checking on the fly. “I do have an even stronger commitment to the business, and it’s important that I get the stories right and that I inform the public. I have to do a lot of fact-checking in real time, and I have to make sure people know we have a shared sense of reality, so I have a bigger commitment to it. The truth does matter and facts do matter, even when people would like you to believe otherwise.”
Across cable news, anchors have a single hour across primetime. But not Lemon, who anchors CNN Tonight from ten to midnight, Eastern time. “My work schedule is a lot more intense. I do two hours now. Most people do an hour in primetime. It’s tough, but I’m a soldier!”