During the usual handoff between Chris Cuomo at the end of his program, Cuomo Prime Time, and CNN anchor Don Lemon the two took extra time to debate the merits of having guests from a hostile administration that refers to CNN often as "fake news" and "the enemy of the people."
Cuomo had once again invited counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway to appear on last evening's program. As usual the visit was contentious, full of President Donald Trump's rhetoric full of alternative facts and devoid of any real answers to Cuomo's questions.
And it was this pattern for Conway's interviews that anchor Don Lemon took issue with. He stated:
"She never answers a question. She berates you. She's condescending."
"She uses our network to give her talking points. For me it feels beneath the dignity of this network to have someone on who just constantly lies and misconstrues things."
"When you come on CNN, you have an obligation to be honest with the American people."
Cuomo responded to say if CNN only brought on people who told the truth, there would be no members of the current administration or most of the Republican Party on the network. Cuomo made the case that it was part of the role of his show to provide people with exposure to those who lie during interviews so other programs could not feature them.
"I do it on purpose. I do it intentionally. I do it for what I believe is good reason. I do it the most."
He then mentioned that there was a reason programs like Rachel Maddow's on MSNBC have few guests from the Trump administration or the GOP because of that standard of truth from guests.
Watch their full exchange here.
Trump has a particularly contentious relationship with CNN. He targeted their White House correspondent Jim Acosta several times culminating in the White House attempting to ban Acosta until their ban was overturned in court.
The President last appeared on CNN while still on the campaign trail in August 2016. Meanwhile he appeared over 40 times on Fox News since his inauguration in January 2017.
Responses to the exchange on YouTube tended to side with Lemon over Cuomo.
On YouTube, Mark Stevens commented:
"Totally with Lemon here. It’s insulting to my intelligence to watch people ignorantly abuse the truth, strain credulity to the point of destruction, and take sensible people for fools they can influence by repeating obvious fallacies in the hopes enough people will not be able to sort truth from bs and they win on confusion. Supporting that is a fools game and I don’t watch Cuomo for that reason."
"Cuomo, it is enough. It looks ridiculous the way you and that blond bimbo go back and forth. I can’t understand a thing you two are saying during your altercations with her. She is a disgrace and should NOT be on TV."
Aggie Longhorn posted:
"Don't know who I despise hearing more, Conway or Huckabee-Sanders. Damn that's tough."
Beth Griesauer commented:
"Don Lemon is right. I feel disgusted watching Kellyanne. I fast forward through her segment or turn it off."
And while some understood Cuomo's reasoning, they still thought Conway was a waste of airtime and expressed that clearly.
"I really like Cuomo and respect his reasoning on this matter, but enough really is enough. Every 'interview' with Conway is just her yelling her talking points over the interviewer. It's a complete waste of time and it's run its course."
The debate carried over to Twitter as well...
Cuomo interviewed Kellyanne Conway tonight. Then Cuomo and Lemon resumed their debate about whether it's worthwhile… https://t.co/rsodDBN62n— Brian Stelter (@Brian Stelter) 1552615821.0
...where once again, people tended to agree with anchor Don Lemon over show host Chris Cuomo.
@brianstelter @donlemon I agree 100% with @donlemon. Kellyanne Conway should not be given a platform to spew her li… https://t.co/UuIx2Xd3Sm— Red (@Red) 1552616898.0
@brianstelter @DonLemon What’s the point of having her on? Or Steve Cortes for that matter? It’s not good TV, it… https://t.co/NmdWSgCzDL— Andrew Zimmern (@Andrew Zimmern) 1552617355.0
@brianstelter @MOTRPolitics1 @donlemon Bringing on Kellyanne Conway simply guarantees I change the channel to MSNBC… https://t.co/AmCoql9vhX— Lynn Holliday (@Lynn Holliday) 1552618405.0
And again, those who respected Cuomo and understood his reasoning said it was time to stop enabling the lies.
@brianstelter @donlemon I am with @donlemon on this. Love @ChrisCuomo and watch his show but when she’s on I can’t… https://t.co/quqVoe9esg— Lynn Toribio (@Lynn Toribio) 1552616430.0
Although one person offered a possible solution.
@brianstelter @donlemon Bring her husband on at the same time.— DesGlobal (@DesGlobal) 1552617712.0
@dspalten @brianstelter @donlemon Wouldn't that be a classic I would pay for that— Juan Villarreal (@Juan Villarreal) 1552619364.0
Given George Conway's criticisms of the Trump administration, maybe he would be the best person to counter his wife's Trump rhetoric rants.