CNN anchor Don Lemon is doing an AMA (ask me anything) Q&A segment on Reddit today. He's touching on quite a number of subjects, including working at CNN and his recent coming out. Check it all out here.
On the segment Jon Stewart ran on him. Watch the segment HERE.
"I was totally stunned by the Jon Stewart segment. I was watching the show with a friend and was tweeting about the prior segments. Then mine came on and we both said in unison, "uh oh." Then I tweet 'OMG' and walked out of the room.. My friend said come back, watch it. I didn't for about an hour and after I had 2 beers. Then once I watched I thought it was funny and complimentary. I just didn't want to make my co-workers look like the brunt of the joke. But they understood and sent me nice emails. the truth is I love real news and my team knows it. We pride ourselves on gimmick-free news. In fact we ask ourselves when pitching ideas, 'is this too gimmicky?' And if the answer is yes, we drop it. I think the viewer may watch a gimmick for a while but then they catch on and tune out. It really is ok to be smart and present a smart newscast."
On FOX News:
Obviously I prefer CNN. But there are some really great journalists at fox, and you have to admit that their hosts do great TV. No comment on the fair and balanced part.
On wanting to be a journalist:
I’ve known since I was a kid, but I didn't really know what to call it. My mom says I asked A LOT of questions to anyone who would listen. I’d even go over to other people's tables at restaurants. Guess I was 'born this way' or at least born to be a journalist.
I’ve always wanted to be a reporter. But it didn't play out like I thought. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by my success but I thought I’d end up working for NBC for the rest of my life. When I was younger my goal was to anchor the today show. But as I matured that changed a bit and I ended up in a better place, at CNN. Honestly, I’m not sure if I can say there's a best story I ever covered. There are some very memorable ones like 9-11, Obama inauguration, Michael Jackson's death, Hurricane Katrina, the tornadoes in Alabama and on and on. I’m just lucky I get to work at a place where those stories come often. It keeps me passionate.
On what he'd put in an alcoholic beverage named after him:
Wow. That's an awesome question. A lil vodka, some lemonade, a splash of sparkling water for bubbles and I'd stir it with one of my fingers. Aaahhh refreshing!
As advice to a commenter, who asked, "I am just entering my late 20s and still struggling with my sexuality. I'm still closeted and find it really hard to related to gays in my community. Do you have any advice for me?"
That’s a really good personal question. Know that you're not alone. Come out of the closet when you feel comfortable and safe. But know that it's never an easy thing to do at first. Then when you do it you'll wonder why you hadn't sooner. Here’s the thing, you don't have to relate or like anyone just because they're gay. You should relate to or like them because they're a good person or you have something in common. You don't have to hang out or befriend gay people just because you're gay. I have a bunch of straight friends and some really gay ones too. It’s all good. Don’t be so hard on yourself. It all works itself out. Good luck.