Choosing the year’s most hated newscaster is a difficult thing to do, namely because it’s so difficult to draw meaningful conclusions from polling. After all, the majority of broadcast news ratings go to pundit shows that few consider to be unbiased sources of information. This creates a stiff party line, making it hard to tell who the most and least popular faces in news are. But this year, both liberals and conservatives got a little annoyed with one reporter in particular — Don Lemon.
Don really got under people’s skin this year, so much so that the CNN anchor has earned himself an official title as one of the worst journalists of the year by the Columbia Journalism Review. Lemon most notably shares the honor with Rolling Stone, whose false rape story is still a contentious topic in the news, and Fox and Friends for making light of the Ray Rice abuse scandal.
While the list isn’t necessarily ranked, it’s hard to look at Don’s peers and not feel like he comes out on top. Most of the entries on the list are representative of a specific instance of poor judgment or shoddy reporting. Lemon, on the other hand, is there because of a general reputation for saying the wrong things this year. He’s had so many poorly received moments on the air in 2014 that it’s hard to really say when Don was at his worst.
However, two bad Lemon moments in particular stick out because they were tied to major events: the Ferguson riots and the Bill Cosby rape allegations. During the riots, Don was torn apart on social media for saying that there was “obviously a scent of marijuana in the air” at the Ferguson riots.
Of course, Lemon’s off-putting Ferguson comments are pretty closely matched by the bizarre suggestion he made to one of the women who accused Bill Cosby of rape. Don interrupted Joan Tarshis to ask her why she didn’t bite Cosby when the comedian forced her to perform oral sex on him. Soon after, #DonLemonRapePreventionTips began to trend on Twitter.
Wear a less revealing burka. #DonLemonRapePreventionTips
— Jon (@JBerkNJ) November 19, 2014
#DonLemonRapePreventionTips Build up a tolerance to roofie drugs, just like that guy did in The Princess Bride.
— Everett M (@EverettMaroon) November 19, 2014
Always keep a catcher's mask in your purse.#DonLemonRapePreventionTips
— Mike (@Northside_Mike) November 19, 2014
Always be eating something so that nothing else can fit in your mouth. #DonLemonRapePreventionTips
— Dylan sh'Zoarhi (@mxdylanreid) November 19, 2014
Viewers will have to wait to see whether Don Lemon can recover in 2015, but his reputation may have taken one too many hits this year. In fact, Don haters have even started creating merchandise.
— Terésa Dowell-Vest, M.F.A. (@dowellvest) December 27, 2014