TV ratings trends and even a job switch or two have fueled the argument that audiences are more attracted to news delivered with a point of view. News from the left has helped Rachel Maddow and MSNBC. News from the right has helped Fox News. That's the argument.
Don Lemon on CNN showed another dimension on Saturday evening. Lemon hews closely to the CNN down-the-middle, politically nonpartial approach to the news. Politics, though, do not drive every news consumer. In the middle of a live report on allegations that an Atlanta pastor sexually abused young men in his congregation, Lemon admitted that as a youth he was a victim of a pedophile.
I have never admitted this on television. I’m a victim of a pedophile when I was a kid. Someone who was much older than me.
TVNewser was quick on the beat, reporting CNN Anchor Don Lemon's On-Ar Revelation:
Lemon’s admission led to an audible gasp from one of his guests. “I’ve never admitted that on television and I never told my mom until I was 30 years old,” Lemon said later in the segment. “Especially African-American men don’t want to talk about those things.”
The supportive reaction on Twitter and Facebook showed that Lemon had touched his audience:
You are an exceptionally brave man.God Bless You,Sir.
I am proud of you for talking about your abuse. I respect you as a reporter and a man.
These are just a quick sampling. At the end of his program, Lemon thanked his audience for the tweets. Others will have to judge how much it means for a reporter to share his all-too-human story and how many ways there may be to escape what Jay Rosen has derided as the view from nowhere.