Of course not. But if it comes to a point where that is the dilemma, attention must be paid.
From Fox News (you wouldn’t expect CNN to report this story, would you?):
The former boss of a bartender who earlier this week filed an explosive lawsuit against CNN host Don Lemon, accusing the newsman of a strange, sexually charged assault, told Fox News he witnessed the incident and corroborated his onetime employee’s claim.
In an exclusive interview, George Gounelas, who managed Dustin Hice at the Old Stove Pub in July of 2018, detailed what allegedly occurred on the night of the bizarre encounter at Murf’s Backstreet Tavern, which is located in the prestigious Hamptons area east of New York City. Gounelas is named in the suit filed by Hice.
Lemon, through CNN, has vehemently denied Hice’s allegations.
“Dustin worked for me as a bartender [and] we went out after work one night. We were standing there and he said, ‘Hey, that’s Don Lemon,’” Gounelas said. “Murf’s is a place you go to drink after you’ve been out drinking. We had just gotten off of work. So that’s why we ended up there, because we worked in the restaurant business. So by the time everything is done, we can only hit a late-night spot.”
Hice approached Lemon to strike up a conversation but the newsman declined, according to Gounelas, who said he and Hice then offered to buy Lemon a drink, which the CNN host also declined.
Gounelas said that a few moments later, Lemon came up to them. “Don Lemon has now come around the corner and is standing face to face with us. There is a beam, a pole, in the place. Don’s standing up against the pole, face to face with Dustin, I turn around and I’m standing right there between the two of them,” Gounelas said. “He’s saying, ‘So you like me? Is that why you’re bothering me?’”
Hice responded, “Nah, man, I just wanted to say, ‘What’s up?’” according to Gounelas.
Gounelas told Fox News he couldn’t recall what Lemon said verbatim, but it was “along the lines of, ‘Do you like me? Is that why you’re bothering me, because you wanna fuck me?’” Gounelas said Lemon appeared “pretty drunk” when he confronted the duo at the wee-hours watering hole.
“He put his hands down his pants, inside his board shorts, grabbed his [genitals], and then came out with two fingers and, like, clipped Dustin’s nose up and down with two fingers asking ‘do you like pussy or dick?’” Gounelas said….
Gounelas said he isn’t sure if Lemon, who is openly gay, was being confrontational or simply flirting. “I guess it’s a little of both. If someone had done that to me, I probably would have punched him. But I think it might have been flirting. I think Dustin was more in shock… If someone was flirting with me like that I’d say, ‘alright man I’m not gay,’” Gounelas said. “I wouldn’t go up to a girl like that. It could be his way of flirting.”
Hice continued to work for Gounelas at the now-shuttered Old Stove Pub for the duration of the summer, where his former boss said the bartender was regularly teased about the incident.
The episode has not been investigated, and the law suit has not been settled. But as one blogger correctly wrote, “Anything to add, #TimesUp? Either we view unwanted sexual advances as a serious problem or we don’t. Is there a particular reason Don Lemon should be exempt? Don’t the rules apply to him as well?” Another wrote, “The sexual assault claims against Don Lemon are now more substantiated than any of the ones against Justice Kavanaugh.”
As indeed they are.
I wish Lemon no ill will; he just has no business pretending to practice journalism on TV. He is biased, unprofessional and agenda-driven. Lemon is capable of some incisive observations and courageous statements, but he is the victim of the King’s Pass. As he increasingly realized that CNN regards him as untouchable, he has become progressively more partisan, reckless, obnoxious and unprofessional
Lemon has already appeared on the air drunk more often than any 20 broadcast journalists you could name. A public display like that alleged in the lawsuit would end the careers of most news show hosts past and present. Imagine Walter Cronkite behaving like this. Or even Keith Olbermann. Barbara Walters.
I think the lawsuit itself reeks of a shakedown, but then #MeToo is championing exactly these kinds of lawsuits when the one being grossly propositioned is female. Moreover, public figures whose effectiveness depend on trust and respect simply cannot behave like this in public, if Lemon did. A rational corporation must take strong action when one of its public faces becomes ugly.
You know, like Chris Cuomo.