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"I have said I don't think that you should really listen to what he says, you should listen to what the experts say," Lemon told his colleague Chris Cuomo during their nightly handoff. "I'm not actually sure, if you want to be honest, that we should carry that live. I think we should run snippets. I think we should do it afterwards and get the pertinent points to the American people because he's never, ever going to tell you the truth."
He continued, "And guess what he's gonna do. If you ask a question that is a legitimate question- and if he doesn't like the question, he's gonna say whether you're being mean or not or whatever he wants to call it, he's gonna say, 'That is a mean, nasty question.' Why? Because he wants his base to think that the media is being mean to him and they're attacking him. It is all a plot! It is all orchestrated. And if you can't see it, I don't know what you're looking at. It's obvious, it's transparent to me. This has become- those press briefings have become his new 'Apprentice.' They've become his new rallies. And he treats the press and the media as if he's talking to the people at his rallies. It's the same thing. It's no different except the audience isn't there."
Cuomo told Lemon that he "understands the frustration" but expressed that the press briefings should be carried live because there are "too many dead people" and "too much of a need for information."
Lemon pushed back, saying he's not "frustrated" but just "pointing out the obvious."
"Pointing out the obvious, especially as a journalist, is not being political. If we don't do that, then we are not doing our duty as journalists to point that out," Lemon said. "That's our job to point that out. That's exactly what he's doing."
The anti-Trump host mockingly impersonated Trump, telling Cuomo to ask a "real question" and responded what he later called a "stock answer."
"What does the American people get out of that? Not much," Lemon exclaimed. "Run it afterwards, put it context. That's all I'm saying."
He added, "I don't like wasting people's time and I don't like people being bamboozled. That's it. And I know I'm going to be criticized for it but so be it... Listen, whether he gets reelected, that's not on me. People can vote for whoever they want as their president but as a journalist, I want to make sure that they're getting the right information, their time is not being wasted, and that the administration is not using our airwaves to have the president promote things that aren't necessarily true. That's it."
Lemon has joined a growing number of liberal media personalities who have called for the coronavirus press briefings to no longer be carried live. Earlier this month, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow offered a similar plea to the rest of the media.
"If it were up to me, and it's not, I would stop putting those briefings on live TV," Maddow told viewers. "Not out of spite but because it's misinformation. If the president does end up saying anything true, you can run it as tape but if he keeps lying like this every day on stuff this important, all of us should stop broadcasting it. Honestly, it's gonna cost lives."