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Don Lemon has picked up a dubious honor: ranking in a Columbia Journalism Review fellow’s list of the “worst journalism” of 2014.
The anchor has made headlines throughout the year for controversial moments during his tenure as a CNN newsroom anchor.
In a post written by David Uberti, the CJR fellow makes a case for why Lemon deserves to be ranked along with other missteps in journalism over the past year.
“As one of the most recognizable anchors on CNN, Don Lemon has helped lead the cable network’s coverage of the biggest stories of the year. Live television is exceedingly difficult to produce, of course, but Lemon’s gaffes this year offer a case study in how to choose words wisely — or not,” Uberti wrote.
Lemon’s comment that “Obviously, there’s a smell of marijuana” during a Ferguson protest and his remarks during an interview with a Bill Cosby accuser were cited as controversial moments by Uberti. The CNN wasn’t alone in the cable news world on the CJR worst list, Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends also made Uberti’s list.
Also included on the list was Rolling Stone magazine, which acknowledged serious missteps in its feature report on an alleged University of Virginia campus rape. “The disintegration of the magazine’s visceral campus rape story from Nov. 19 wins this year’s media-fail sweepstakes,” Uberti wrote.
On Dec. 22, Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner wrote in a statement that the magazine had asked Columbia Journalism School, which publishes CJR, to review the edit process of the feature.
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