CNN anchor Don Lemon became defensive on Monday after a documentary film maker criticized cable news for creating echo chambers and running 24/7 news broadcasts about controversial topics.
Andrew Callaghan is the director of a new HBO documentary, "This Place Rules," which details his travels across the country to political events in 2020 and the days leading up to the Capitol riot on January 6.
Lemon asked Callaghan if the documentary examines former Proud Boys national chairman Enrique Tarrio's role in stoking the flames prior to January 6. Tarrio was not at the Capitol during the riot but he is facing seditious conspiracy charges for the role the Proud Boys had on that day.
"I don’t think — the movie is not just about like the Capitol riot and all that. It’s also about like media echo chambers. You know what I mean? And like the dangers of the 24-hour news cycle and how I think mainstream media like Fox [News] and even CNN competes for views by running constant 24-hour news cycle based on fear, division, outrage and panic, probably to, like, sell ads. It’s not just about the Capitol riot," said Callaghan.
"I’m not exactly sure — first of all, I don’t agree with what you’re saying, but I’m not exactly sure of how that played into people going into the Capitol and rioting on January 6. There’s nothing fake about CNN," Lemon replied.
"I’m not saying fake news. I’m saying ramping people up and increasing division during that period of time. Just watching people fall down the rabbit hole and be pushed into action and just, yeah, falling down the conspiracy rabbit hole," Callaghan noted.
Lemon said he believes most people would agree it was actually former President Trump and people online who are responsible for what occurred in 2021.