Earlier this week the Washington Post reported that a Michigan man named Brandon Griesemer had been arrested after calling CNN’s Atlanta headquarters 22 times between January 9th and 10th with threats of gun violence. Griesemer was subsequently charged with interstate communications with intent to extort, threaten or injure, and has since been released on bail. Suffice to say, the news hit a little too close for Don Lemon, who addressed the threats head on Tuesday evening, with a message to Donald Trump, who routinely attempts to discredit and intimidate CNN and other mainstream media outlets.
Assuming that he would be watching, despite of what he actually claims, Lemon addressed the president head on with a moving statement.
I’ve heard from a number of very credible sources from within the White House that you watch this show. You deny it all the time, but then you say something disparaging about me, and the only way you would know that is if you watch the show. So Mr. President, I’m going to speak directly to you.
We are not the enemy. We are not trying to silence you. It is the job of the free press to report the facts. To ask questions, tough questions, ones you don’t like. Even if you don’t like those facts, or those questions, no matter how many times you attack us as fake news, we will continue to do our jobs. When you make that baseless and incendiary charge, be aware that people are listening to you, some very dangerous people.
According to a federal affidavit, the caller who threatened to kill CNN employees made his threat using these words, quote, fake news: ‘I’m coming to gun you all down.’ Fake news. I wonder where he got those words? And in the second call, quote, “I am on my way right now to gun the effing CNN cast down. I am coming to kill you.”
After a moment of silence to let that all sink in, Lemon went on to admit that this isn’t the first time threats have been made on him and his colleagues, and right now there’s an open case with the NYPD over someone trying to kill him personally. Referring to Trump’s “childish” tweets attacking his network, Lemon disgustedly looked at the camera and asked, “What grade are you in?”
Lemon went on to remind Trump that god forbid, if someone in the media gets hurt over his words, it won’t be a “fake injury” or a “fake death.” “And how will you answer those questions then, not only from journalists, but from our loved ones,” Lemon concluded, powerfully. “Because you’re gonna have to do it. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen.”