Tag Archives: CNN

This is CNN: Don Lemon sticks hand down his shorts, rubs penis, then wants bartender to smell his fingers

On August 11, 2019, Dustin Hice, a a former Hamptons bartender, sued the openly-gay CNN anchorman Don Lemon, 53, for a “demeaning, unprovoked and offensive assault” in July 2018 at Murf’s Backstreet Tavern in Sag Harbor, a part of the Hamptons where New York’s wealthiest residents have multi-million dollar weekend homes.

In the lawsuit obtained by Mediaite, Hice said he encountered Lemon at the tavern when he went out for drinks with friends following his shift at The Old Stove Pub in Bridgehampton, NY. Hice said he offered to buy Lemon a vodka drink called a “Lemon Drop” but Lemon declined. Hice said Lemon approached him later that night, where the assault took place. The lawsuit reads:

(Lemon) put his hand down the front of his own shorts, and vigorously rubbed his genitalia, removed his hand and shoved his index and middle fingers into (Hice’s) mustache and under (Hice’s) nose.

Lemon proceeded to ask questions about Hice’s sexual preferences, saying, “Do you like (vagina) or (penis)?” The lawsuit reads: “While saying this, Mr. Lemon continued to shove his fingers into (Hice’s) face with aggression and hostility.”

In the suit, Hice also said Lemon’s off-screen demeanor was in stark contrast to the “Me Too” advocate whom he often saw on TV: “When the cameras are turned off, however, Mr. Lemon’s actions are in stark and disturbing contrast to the public persona he attempts to convey.”

Lemon and CNN not just deny the allegation, they’re accusing Hice of blackmail. A CNN spokesperson told USA Today:

Don categorically denies these claims. The plaintiff in this lawsuit has previously displayed a pattern of contempt for CNN on his social media accounts. This claim follows his unsuccessful threats and demands for an exorbitant amount of money from Don Lemon.

But Hice’s former boss at the Old Stove Pub, George Gounelas, who is named in the lawsuit, has come forward as a witness corroborating Hice’s account.

Brian Flood reports for Fox News, August 15, 2019, that in an exclusive interview, George Gounelas, who managed Hice at the Old Stove Pub in July 2018, described what happened that night at Murf’s Backstreet Tavern:

“Dustin worked for me as a bartender [and] we went out after work one night. We were standing there and he said, ‘Hey, that’s Don Lemon.’ Murf’s is a place you go to drink after you’ve been out drinking. We had just gotten off of work. So that’s why we ended up there, because we worked in the restaurant business. So by the time everything is done, we can only hit a late-night spot.”

Gounelas said Hice approached Lemon to strike up a conversation but the CNN host declined. Gounelas and Hice then offered to buy Lemon a drink, which Lemon also declined. A few moments later, Lemon came up to them:

“Don Lemon has now come around the corner and is standing face to face with us. There is a beam, a pole, in the place. Don’s standing up against the pole, face to face with Dustin, I turn around and I’m standing right there between the two of them. He’s saying, ‘So you like me? Is that why you’re bothering me?’”

Gounelas said Hice responded, “Nah, man, I just wanted to say, ‘What’s up?’.” Gounelas couldn’t recall what Lemon said verbatim, but it was “along the lines of, ‘Do you like me? Is that why you’re bothering me, because you wanna f*ck me?'”

Gounelas said:

“He [Lemon] put his hands down his pants, inside his board shorts, grabbed his [genitals], and then came out with two fingers and, like, clipped Dustin’s nose up and down with two fingers asking ‘do you like p*ssy or d*ck?’”

Gounelas said he isn’t sure if Lemon, who is openly gay, was being confrontational or simply flirting:

“I guess it’s a little of both. If someone had done that to me, I probably would have punched him. But I think it might have been flirting. I think Dustin was more in shock… If someone was flirting with me like that I’d say, ‘alright man I’m not gay.’ I wouldn’t go up to a girl like that. It could be his way of flirting.”

Gounelas said he laughed during the incident, but Hice didn’t think it was a laughing matter:

“Dustin was in this shock mode saying, ‘Bro, did that just happen? That was disgusting.’ The whole thing is like, I go out in the Hamptons, I live out here, I have a restaurant, I get it, people get crazy. To me, it was just another thing. To [Dustin], he was like shocked. This is the only thing he could talk about, not in a good way, like ‘I can’t believe that sh*t happened.’”

Hice continued to work for Gounelas at the now-shuttered Old Stove Pub for the duration of the summer. Gounelas said the incident happened in the presence of others:

“The place was packed. I’m sure other people saw. It was a known thing in the Hamptons, not like this quiet thing. Everybody knew Dustin and what happened to him. Every time we went out, every bartender offered him a Lemon drop shot, making fun of him. He got some sh-t for it.”

Lemon offered a six-figure settlement before talks broke down and Hice filed the formal complaint, according to a source close to Hice’s attorney.

See also:

~Eowyn

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CNN ratings continue to collapse

From Fox News: CNN is suffering a credibility crisis as viewership for the once-proud network continues to crater with no apparent plan in place to fix things anytime soon, according to media watchdogs and insiders.

CNN’s audience shriveled in the second quarter of 2019, averaging only 541,000 total viewers, less than half Fox News Channel’s 1.3 million average. But CNN struggled even more during the primetime hours of 8-11 p.m. ET, finishing as the fifteenth most-watched network on basic cable behind networks such as TLC, Investigation Discovery and the Hallmark Channel. CNN averaged a dismal 761,000 primetime viewers while FNC averaged 2.4 million.

The Hill media guru Joe Concha told Fox News that CNN’s freefall may not be slowing.

“The numbers warrant concern, yes. Q2 was a particularly news-rich quarter highlighted by the release of the Mueller report and all the aftermath and controversy following it, plus the launch of several high-profile Democratic candidacies including Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg to propel 2020 coverage into high gear,” Concha said. “It may only get worse in Q3 given the numbers we’re already seeing.”

CNN did not immediately respond when asked for comment.

CNN started off the third quarter with “the network’s lowest average since 2015” when it comes to primetime viewers among the key demographic of adults age 25-54, according to TVNewser. But the network has extended various contributors through the election, indicating that its apparent anti-Trump programming strategy will remain in place for at least the duration of the president’s first term.

“You know the answer,” a longtime CNN employee said when asked if staffers are panicked about the ratings decay before declining further comment.

Another current CNN employee told Fox News that there is widespread concern about the network’s ratings problem, but high-profile hosts such as Anderson Cooper remain unfazed.

“The people that are concerned – it’s certainly not the anchors who have lucrative contracts – it’s the people among the lower levels, such as producers and show bookers,” the employee said.

A third current staffer told Fox News that CNN “is clearly doing something wrong if the ratings are like this,” before asking, “So why don’t we try something different?”

Cable news viewership has declined in general as more and more consumers cut the cord in favor of OTT streaming services, but CNN’s losses are overwhelming. The network lost 18 percent of its audience compared to the second quarter of last year. CNN also dropped a whopping 38 percent of primetime viewers among the key demo.

“Losing nearly 40 percent of an already third-place audience must be a primary topic in internal meetings, with immediate remedies not readily apparent,” Concha said.

CNN’s most popular show, “Cuomo Prime Time,” averaged only 910,000 viewers. Fourteen Fox News programs and 10 MSNBC programs attracted larger audiences. Chris Cuomo and Anderson Cooper are part of CNN’s struggling primetime lineup that lost 38% of its audience in the key demo during the second quarter of 2019.

Reporter-turned-banker Porter Bibb is surprised parent company AT&T hasn’t made any changes. “My guess is that senior management is more concerned about the launch of HBO Max than CNN, at least for the moment,” he said.

Sagging ratings weren’t the only negative headlines generated by CNN during the second quarter, as the network reduced its headcount days after publically declaring there wouldn’t be mass layoffs.

A CNN spokesperson told Fox News on May 7 that reports of looming layoffs were a “crazy rumor,” but staffers were shocked when members of the network’s Atlanta-based staff who covered health care were shown the door only two weeks later.

CNN also saw over 100 employees accept a voluntary buyout option, losing bureau chiefs and award winners in the process while the network moved into elaborate new New York City digs.

Read the whole story here.

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Rosie O’Donnell says Biden should drop out of presidential race: “He’s not the future of the democratic party”

From Yahoo: Rosie O’Donnell is calling for Joe Biden to drop out of the 2020 race for president.

During a Tuesday appearance on CNN’s Cuomo Primetime, the comedian and TV personality cited the 76-year-old former vice president’s age and ideas as the reasons she’ll be backing someone else seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination.

“I think that Joe Biden should say, ‘I’m gonna to sit this one out,’” O’Donnell said. “‘I’m gonna be an elder statesman, and I’m gonna advise.’ And then whoever is the nominee, I think, should think about how to best use somebody with the experience that Joe Biden has [gained] in all these years of politics. But he’s not the future of the Democratic Party.”

O’Donnell’s preferred candidates are Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who she’s supported in the past, and California Sen. Kamala Harris.

Cuomo pointed out that the latest CNN poll showed that Biden is the candidate with the best chance at defeating the Republican Party’s candidate, President Donald Trump. How, he asked, could someone argue that Biden isn’t in the party’s future?

“Well, because he’s antiquated in a lot of his thinking, a lot of his beliefs,” O’Donnell said of Biden. O’Donnell also said Democratic House majority leader Nancy Pelosi should impeach Trump, although the speaker has said she would rather see Trump lose an election.

“Because this is not the way to deal with Trump, as someone who had to deal with him for a decade before he became President of the United States, relentless, unending abuse from him,” said O’Donnell, who publicly feuded with Trump for years before he moved into the White House.

“This is not how you deal with him. You don’t let him go and give him a long lead,” she said. “You gotta reel him back in and confront him at his own level. To turn around and say we’re not going to have an impeachment inquiry, I think is a gross injustice, and I think Nancy Pelosi is making a huge mistake.

O’Donnell was on the show to promote Lights for Liberty, the hundreds of vigils that will be held around the country Friday to protest the treatment of immigrants at the United States border.

“This has to be the issue of the election,” the former daytime talk show host said. “I think it’s gonna be, because mothers and fathers across the country are gonna say, ‘Enough. I can’t and will not tolerate this on my watch.’”

See also:

Ageist: Rosie O’Donnell calls for senior GOP politicians to retire
Rosie O’Donnell worries if she’ll be able to live through Trump’s presidency
Rosie O’Donnell sparks outrage with Trump-killing game

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What a trainwreck: Trump accuser E. Jean Carroll says “most people think of rape as being sexy, think of the fantasies”

This is the woman who claims Trump assaulted her yet won’t press charges because it would be “disrespectful to migrant women.”

She’s an embarrassment.

DCG

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Monday funnies!

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Covington Catholic High school student sues NBC for $275M

I hope the kid prevail$.

From Fox News: Covington Catholic High School student Nicholas Sandmann is suing NBCUniversal for a whopping $275 million over the media coverage he received earlier this year, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Sandmann was at the center of a viral controversy back in January, alongside reports suggesting that he and his classmates had initiated a confrontation with Native American elder Nathan Phillips outside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Subsequent reporting and video evidence contradicted that version of events.

Sandmann’s attorney, Todd V. McMurty, announced the defamation suit against NBCUniversal.

“NBCUniversal created a false narrative by portraying the ‘confrontation’ as a ‘hate crime’ committed by Nicholas,” the lawsuit read, saying Sandmann was “an easy target for NBCUniversal to advance its anti-Trump agenda because he was a 16-year-old white, Catholic student who had attended the Right to Life March that day and was wearing a MAGA cap at the time of the incident which he had purchased earlier in the day as a souvenir.”

This marks the third major lawusit Sandmann’s legal team has launched. The team is also suing The Washington Post for $250 million as well as CNN for $275 million. McMurty previously suggested that The Associated Press and HBO could face simiilar lawsuits.

NBCUniversal did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

DCG

Lawsuits cost money. 16-year-old Nicholas Sandmann’s parents are asking for your help. To donate, go to https://www.catholicvote.org/give/justicefornick/?REF=051

I wouldn’t ask if I haven’t donated ($25) myself.

~Eowyn

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Whoopi Goldberg defends Creepy Joe Biden (of course); doesn’t want him to change his ways

From Yahoo (via HuffPo): Whoopi Goldberg defended former Vice President Joe Biden following an allegation that he inappropriately touched and kissed a former Nevada assemblywoman, saying she doesn’t want the likely 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to change his behavior.

Goldberg, a co-host on ‘The View,’ was irked when colleague Sunny Hostin predicted during Monday’s program that Biden would curb his tactile tendencies with women after Lucy Flores said she felt uncomfortable when Biden placed his hands on her shoulders, smelled her hair and kissing the back of her head at a 2014 campaign event. Flores was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in Nevada and Biden was appearing on her behalf.

“I don’t know that we will see any more smelling of hair and kisses on the forehead,” Hostin said of the controversy, eliciting a strong rebuke from Goldberg.

“That pisses me off,” she said. “I don’t want Joe to stop doing that.”

Meghan McCain, another “View” co-host and daughter of the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), agreed, suggesting Biden’s behavior was simply part of his brand.

“There’s a certain type of retail politician that loves people,” she said. “I would put Bill Clinton in that category, I would put my father in that category, I would certainly put Joe Biden in that category. When he came on this show, he was the only politician other than my father to go into the crowd and shake everyone’s hand.”

Bill Clinton…a “hands on kind of guy”

Goldberg also noted that Biden is known to be “a hands-on kind of guy,” which is evident from photos of his interpersonal interactions spanning years, some of which show him touching shoulders and at least one in which he is pictured holding a reporter’s waist.

“In the old days, we would call Joe ― some folks of a certain age would say he’s a little overly familiar,” Goldberg said.

Goldberg said that she took Flores’ account seriously. But she also argued that Flores, who lost the lieutenant governor’s race, should have directly told Biden to stop.

“My point is, I want women to get to the place where they can say, ‘Hey, you just made me uncomfortable.’ This idea that you have to tippy-toe away from this or you have to carry [it] ― you do not have to carry it. If someone makes you uncomfortable, tell them.

On Sunday, moments before Flores appeared on CNN to discuss the allegation that she first detailed in a New York magazine article published Friday, Biden released a statement saying he would “listen respectfully” to women alleging he had displayed inappropriate affection toward them but that it had never been his intention to do so.

He also said that “not once ― never ― did I believe I acted inappropriately.

During her CNN interview, Flores suggested that Biden’s comments indicate he lacks awareness of how women ought to be treated. She also said that her experience wasn’t the first time he crossed boundaries.

Biden’s defense of himself was bolstered on Sunday by Stephanie Carter, whose husband served as defense secretary during President Barack Obama’s second term in office. Biden, as vice president, attended the swearing-in ceremony for Ash Carter, and a widely circulated photo showed him resting his hands on her shoulders from behind and whispering into her ear.

Questions were raised at the time about Biden’s action. But in an essay in Medium, Stephanie Carter disputed that Biden had acted inappropriately. “The Joe Biden in my picture is a close friend helping someone get through a big day, for which I will always be grateful,” she wrote.

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Covington High School student suing CNN for over $250 million

I hope they pay big time.

From Fox News: CNN is likely to be hit with a massive lawsuit worth more than $250 million over alleged “vicious” and “direct attacks” on Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann, his lawyer has told Fox News.

Lawyer L. Lin Wood discussed his decision to sue CNN for its reporting and coverage of his client during an interview that will air on Fox News Channel’s “Life, Liberty & Levin” on Sunday at 10 p.m. ET.

CNN was probably more vicious in its direct attacks on Nicholas than The Washington Post. And CNN goes into millions of individuals’ homes,” Wood told Fox News host and best-selling author Mark Levin.

“They really went after Nicholas with the idea that he was part of a mob that was attacking the Black Hebrew Israelites, yelling racist slurs at the Black Hebrew Israelites. Totally false.”

“Now you say you’ve seen the tape; if you took the time to look at the full context of what happened that day, Nicholas Sandmann did absolutely nothing wrong. He was, as I’ve said to others, he was the only adult in the room. But you have a situation where CNN couldn’t resist the idea that here’s a guy with a young boy, that Make America Great Again cap on. So they go after him.”

Wood continued: “The CNN folks were online on Twitter at 7 a.m retweeting the little one-minute propaganda piece that had been put out. … They’re out there right away going after this young boy. And they maintain it for at least two days. Why didn’t they stop and just take an hour and look through the Internet and find the truth and then report it? Maybe do that before you report the lies.”

Wood then detailed the timing of the suit, saying it will be issued “Monday, Tuesday at the latest.”

“I’ve got some young, smart lawyers that are working hard as we can,” he told Levin. “Double-checking, and listen, when we file complaints, we’ve investigated it because we want to get it right. Maybe CNN can learn from that.”
Fox News has reached out to CNN representatives for comment on the pending litigation.

Wood filed suit last month against The Washington Post. The suit calls for $250 million in compensatory and punitive damages over the paper’s coverage of the confrontation, an encounter that went viral on social media. He told Fox News that the claim against CNN is apt to be even higher.

“I expect because of the way they went after Nicholas so viciously, that the claim for his reputational damage will be higher than it was against The Washington Post,” the veteran attorney said.

“The Post was $50 million for the reputational damage … $200 million in punitive damages — punitive damages are designed to punish and to deter. I would think the punitive-damage award against CNN that we’ll seek will be at least the same $200 million as it was against The Washington Post. But the compensatory damage to Nicholas’s reputation, that number I expect will be higher.”

The lawsuit against The Washington Post accused that outlet of practicing “a modern-day form of McCarthyism” by targeting Sandmann and “using its vast financial resources to enter the bully pulpit by publishing a series of false and defamatory print and online articles … to smear a young boy who was, in its view, an acceptable casualty in their war against the president.”

Several days ago, The Post published an editor’s note admitting that subsequent information either contradicted or failed to confirm accounts relayed in its initial article. The editor’s note was not satisfactory to Sandmann’s legal team.

Read the whole story here.

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Black advocacy groups want a “civil rights audit” of CNN

Al Sharpton approved.

From Hollywood Reporter: CNN is facing calls to diversify its executive ranks from two prominent organizations that advocate for African-Americans, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the National Association of Black Journalists.

The broadside began on Tuesday, when the NABJ blasted the network, saying it is “concerned about the lack of black representation within the ranks of CNN’s executive news managers and direct reports to CNN president Jeff Zucker.”

The organization, which pointed out that CNN has no black executive producers, called for a “civil rights audit” of the network. After a late January meeting was canceled, it pushed again for a meeting with CNN’s leadership, which is unwilling to meet with the NABJ if one of its top officers, Roland Martin, is present. Martin, who serves as vp digital for the NABJ, has a contentious history with CNN, his former employer, and has been critical of the network.

“We have made it abundantly clear that we would be more than happy to sit down with the rest of their leadership team as soon as possible, and that offer still stands,” CNN said Tuesday in a statement. (A spokesperson would not comment for this story.)

But, the NABJ is not budging. “We ain’t meeting unless I’m in the room,” Martin said on his digital show, #Roland Martin Unfiltered.

The NAACP joined the fray on Wednesday night, criticizing CNN and Zucker. “CNN’s lack of black representation in leadership roles is troubling and another example of the media industry’s reluctance to address an issue that continues to plague newsrooms across the country,” the organization said. “NAACP finds it offensive that CNN president Jeff Zucker refuses to address this issue.”

CNN leadership is said to internally echo a commitment to hiring more diverse employees, including executives, but did not address the company’s diversity goals in the released statement. “The relationship between CNN and NABJ is very important to us,” the network said Tuesday. “As we have told them many times, we look forward to a thoughtful discussion about how both of our organizations can continue to work together.”

The organization joined the NABJ in asking CNN parent company WarnerMedia to “conduct a diversity and inclusion audit of all its news divisions.”

More advocacy organizations are expected to issue statements criticizing CNN’s executive-level diversity and unwillingness to unconditionally meet with the NABJ, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Barring a meeting with CNN leadership, the NABJ is pushing for a meeting with the network’s owner, AT&T, and CEO Randall Stephenson.

“It’s vital to point out that not once has CNN disputed anything in the NABJ letter when it comes to their lack of black executives,” a person involved in the effort said. “Their deflection to a personal issue hasn’t gone unnoticed by black staffers at CNN and NABJ members.”

The NABJ has recently met separately with the leadership of Fox News and CBS News, including executives Suzanne Scott and Susan Zirinsky, and has a meeting scheduled for next week with ABC News.

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Socialist Ocasio-Cortez wants 70% tax rate for the wealthy

You know she’d take 100% of taxpayer money if she had her way.

From NY Post: Newly minted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says tax rates for the nation’s wealthiest should increase to as much 70 percent to fund a new initiative to combat climate change — even if that means she’s labeled a “radical.”

“If that’s what radical means, call me a radical,” she said in an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” that will air in full on Sunday.

The New York Democrat said the tax hike would help fund the Green New Deal, which aims at eliminating carbon emissions in the US within 12 years.

“That is the goal. It’s ambitious,” she said. “It’s going to require a lot of rapid change that we don’t even conceive as possible right now. What is the problem with trying to push our technological capacities to the furthest extent possible?”

The 29-year-old said the plan could include “an element where people are going to have to start paying their fair share in taxes.”

“You know, you look at our tax rates back in the ’60s, and when you have a progressive tax rate system, your tax rate let’s say from zero to $75,000 may be 10 percent or 15 percent, etc.,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

“But once you get to the tippy-tops on your 10 millionth dollar, sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60 or 70 percent,” she continued. “That doesn’t mean all $10 million are taxed at an extremely high rate. It means that as you climb up this ladder, you should be contributing more.”

The current top tax rate is 37 percent.

When “60 Minutes” host Anderson Cooper described her ideas as a “radical agenda,” she responded, “I think that it only has ever been radicals that have changed this country.”

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