On Monday (Dec. 6), Smollett took the stand and revealed that he received a text from the journalist, who let him know cops were doubting the story of his attack. Per the “Empire” star, the CNN host also advised that he refrain from submitting phone records amid the investigation.
That Monday night, as Lemon reported the details of the trial on his late-night talk show, he mentioned Smollett’s alleged makeout session with one of the men accused of staging the attack as well as his general decision to take the stand. He failed, however, to discuss his own involvement in the case, prompting critical tweets about his reports.
Don Lemon was texting Smollett every day with updates about what the Chicago police were doing. He needs to be fired.
— 🇺🇸ProudArmyBrat (@leslibless) December 8, 2021
Today we found out Don Lemon was helping Jussie obstruct justice https://t.co/DX7QkltOMP
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) December 7, 2021
In a slew of other tweets, many compared Lemon’s fate on CNN to that of Chris Cuomo, who was recently fired for aiding his brother former NY governor Andrew Cuomo, who faces several sexual assault allegations.
“After Jussie Smollett‘s testimony that Don Lemon tipped him off to the Chicago PD not believing his story,” tweeted comedian and radio personality Tim Young. “He should be the next to get tanked from CNN…”
After Jussie Smollett's testimony that Don Lemon tipped him off to the Chicago PD not believing his story… he should be the next to get tanked from CNN…
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) December 7, 2021
Republican political commentator Chad Prather added, “Well…looks like Don Lemon will be the next one to go.”
Well…looks like Don Lemon will be the next one to go.
— Chad Prather (@WatchChad) December 7, 2021
Lemon’s decision not to mention his role in Smollett’s case comes after his initial coverage of his friend’s situation. At the time, he admitted that the case was “personal” to him because of his friendship with the actor. When doubts crept in about Smollett’s story, however, he claimed that he “lied to a lot of people … including me,” FOX News reported.