Don Lemon is the anchor America deserves, an animated GQ profile says.
In “Anchorman: The Legend of Don Lemon,” the CNN news man is photographed sticking out his tongue and interviewing a smiley face balloon. Things get more serious when Lemon addresses the backlash he’s received over telling black men to take more responsibility for their lives.
“I didn’t think I was saying anything bad,” he said. “Just: Always respect yourself. Go to school … I think they’re used to me just having a one-way conversation, just reading the prompter and going, ‘Okay, what do you think?’ … Maybe they were just sort of surprised that I actually have a point of view.”
His boss, Jeff Zucker, likes the buzz his anchor is creating: “There’s certainly a lot of interest in Don Lemon, and that’s a good thing for Don and for CNN. You know, Don is a little bit of a lightning rod. Frankly, we needed a little bit of lightning.”
The primetime anchor — already deep in 2016 coverage like the rest of cable news — says he has no political affiliation, although he’s voted for President Obama twice.
“People expect me to be liberal because I’m gay,” Lemon said. “And I’m not liberal,” he continued, later objecting to the author’s suggestion he has conservative values.
“You keep saying I have conservative values. I don’t. I think I have values that are important and realistic. And they’re not necessarily spoon-fed by someone. I thought out what my values should be.” He brings up an example of family: He was raised by a single mother, and he loves her, but he thinks a family should have two parents. “Even now my mom would say, ‘I wish I had had some help.'”
Other reveals: Lemon’s a lifelong insomniac whose work schedule doesn’t make the sleep struggle easier; a good night might be four hours for the workaholic.
He’s also doing well in the romance department, dating a lawyer, who understands his busy schedule.
Lemon hosts “CNN Tonight” at 10 p.m. ET.