CNN's Don Lemon: 'Extremely shortsighted' if NY Times barring reporters from my show

CNN's Don Lemon: 'Extremely shortsighted' if NY Times barring reporters from my show
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CNN anchor Don LemonDon Carlton LemonConfederate flag banner flies over Bristol Motor Speedway to flout NASCAR's ban Democratic super PAC to launch 'Creepy Trump' TV ad Loeffler doubles down against BLM, calls movement 'anti-Semitic' amid continued WNBA blowback MORE pushed back on a report that The New York Times is discouraging its reporters from appearing on his show, calling the reported decision "shortsighted" at a time "when journalism is under attack."

“I do not get the sense that they are banning reporters from my show. But, I don’t work for the Times so I can’t be sure,” Lemon told the Daily Beast by email. “However, it would be extremely shortsighted if they are when journalism is under attack. We should support each other. Period.”

The comment from Lemon, who anchors "CNN Tonight" at 10 and 11 p.m. Eastern, comes after a Vanity Fair report on Thursday said the Times has begun re-enforcing a standing policy that urges reporters and editors to avoid appearing on cable news opinion programs deemed too partisan.

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The Vanity Fair report mentioned shows such as Lemon's program along with MSNBC's "Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowHere are top contenders to be Biden's VP Juan Williams: We must not become numb to Trump's abnormality Mary Trump claims she's heard Trump use racist, anti-Semitic slurs: He's 'virulently racist' MORE Show" and "The Last Word with Lawrence O'DonnellLawrence O'DonnellMSNBC producer pens scathing exit letter: Ratings model 'blocks diversity of thought and content' MSNBC political analyst Karine Jean-Pierre joins Biden campaign Wallace says Biden gave 'skillful' answer on advice to voters on Reade MORE" as ones that Times reporters are urged to avoid.

Maddow and O'Donnell have been the network's top-rated hosts for several years.

The Hill reached out to the Times for comment on the report.

The Vanity Fair piece highlighted an anecdote about the Times's finance editor David Enrich being invited to appear on Maddow's prime-time program earlier this month to discuss a report regarding President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE, his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerLincoln Project ad dubs Jared Kushner the 'Secretary of Failure' Deutsche Bank launches investigation into longtime banker of Trump, Kushner Watchdog group accuses Stephen Miller of violating Hatch Act with Biden comments MORE and allegedly suspect transactions involving Deutsche Bank before Trump took office.

After Enrich agreed to appear he was instructed to back out by his superiors, according to the report.

"The Times was wary of how viewers might perceive a down-the-middle journalist like Enrich talking politics with a mega-ideological host like Maddow," reads the report by Joe Pompeo, who wrote that a Maddow producer was "miffed about the cancellation," citing sources.

An MSNBC executive told the Daily Beast that other major publications have no issue placing their reporters on programs to reach "many different audiences."

“The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal and most every other publication in America have confidence that their reporters are capable of explaining and defining their journalism to many different audiences," the unnamed executive told the Daily Beast. "Hopefully the Times will come to recognize that, too.”

“We will still appear on television when invited,” Times executive editor Dean Baquet told the outlet. “It’s the most sharply opinionated shows that give me pause. I’m not sure which shows we will avoid. The line is increasingly blurred. Again, this is not an assault on our television compatriots. It’s my strong view that opinion and news need to be separated.”

According to the Times's handbook of values and practices for the news and editorial departments, staff members should avoid shows that "emphasize punditry and reckless opinion-mongering."

Staff members "may participate in radio, television or Internet interviews or discussions, paid or unpaid, that deal with articles they have written or subjects that figure in the coverage they provide, edit, package or supervise," the public document reads.

"In deciding whether to make a radio, television or Internet appearance, a staff member should consider its probable tone and content to make sure they are consistent with Times standards," it adds. "Staff members should avoid strident, theatrical forums that emphasize punditry and reckless opinion-mongering."