New Years Eve is the one time all year when it’s kind of, somewhat, a tad socially acceptable for cable news hosts to go off their rocker. In the case of Don Lemon, it’s downright hilarious and entertaining.
The CNN anchor was celebrating the night live from the Spotted Cat in New Orleans with fellow anchor Brooke Baldwin when things quickly went south.
Among the many festivities he took part in, Lemon got his ear pierced, took shots of tequila, then declared himself “lit.” He then delved into his love life and dating plans for 2017, something his viewers were all curious about… Not.
Anderson Cooper, who was anchoring CNN’s New York coverage alongside Kathy Griffin, claimed that Lemon had taken 13 shots of tequila. Still with nearly 2 hours to go, Lemon went for number 14… more than enough to kill a small woman.
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) January 1, 2017
By 11:34 local time, Lemon was in a far away land. He starting lamenting about his dating issues, saying “I’m a bad person to date,” and vocalizing his need for a better “work-life balance.” In 2017, “I’m not going to be as self-centered… I live my life to the fullest. I don’t care what people think about me. I do what I want because it’s my life.” Truly a great monologue if you were listening to him whilst drunk yourself—but to sober viewers, it came off decidedly goofy. There’s nothing self-centered than a person going on and on about how self-centered they are.
The best part was probably Kathy Griffin’s dare for Lemon to receive a tattoo or piercing. Don opted for an ear piercing, which he claimed would likely disappoint his mother.
— Don Lemon (@donlemon) January 1, 2017
Did CNN know what they were doing when they assigned Lemon to a New Orleans bar and had him drown himself in liquor? The answer is probably yes. After all, it went so well the year prior.
There’s no mystery that edginess manifests in more viewers and higher ratings, but CNN is towing a fine line between entertainment and oddity. After a year where we witnessed a sweeping condemnation of the mainstream media’s reporting and news coverage, having Don Lemon down a barrel of tequila while saying “2016 was the worst” is not a step in the right direction. Clearly, CNN recognized that and cut off his microphone before he could go farther down the political rabbit hole.
Watching news anchors act drunk on TV is funny for awhile, and does humanize them, but it inevitably reaches a point of no return. Maybe we should urban dictionary this move as “acting like a Lemon.”