Fox’s Nancy Grace Says Don Lemon Texts to Jussie Smollett Are Not a Scandal: ‘Not Exactly Breaking News’
Fox Nation host Nancy Grace poured cold water on the idea that CNN anchor Don Lemon’s texts to Jussie Smollett constitute a scandal for the network and its 10 p.m. host.
Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt introduced Grace by summing up Smollett’s testimony on Monday, in which he claimed that Lemon had warned him the Chicago Police Department did not believe his story. Smollett, who is on trial for six counts of lying to the police, also insisted that the 2019 hate crime he reported “was not a hoax.”
“Regarding the text from Don Lemon, not exactly breaking news,” said Grace, who is the host of Crime Stories on Fox Nation.
“I don’t think Lemon divulged anything that the rest of us didn’t already know: That cops do not believe Smollett was a hate crime victim. It’s absurd,” she explained.
Grace then went on to discuss Smollett’s ongoing testimony: “Very often you do not see defendants take the stand in their own defense, why? They will be carved up on cross-exam like a Thanksgiving turkey. But Smollett did take the stand and I predict that is exactly what is going to happen.”
Grace’s characterization of the text between Smollett and Lemon belies a narrative offered by Fox News hosts, who throughout the day have described the Lemon-Smollett texts as a “scandal” on par with Chris Cuomo’s aiding of his brother in fighting sexual harassment allegations.
Earlier on Fox & Friends, host Todd Piro suggested Lemon was trying to help Smollett, instead of communicating with him as a journalist.
“From a legal perspective did Don Lemon do anything wrong?” asked Ainsley Earhardt of the texts. “If you are trying to get an interview you might send a text, especially if you are acquaintances.”
“I don’t know about the legal perspective,” Piro answered. “But again this would go back to the whole CNN journalistic questions, should we be helping the people cover overtly like CNN does seemingly with Chris Cuomo and now Don Lemon.”
A few hours later on Fox’s daytime show Outnumber, the texts were described as yet another “scandal” for a network already humbled by the ouster of top-rated anchor Chris Cuomo. Former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer called on Lemon to release all of his texts with Smollett.
“This could actually be just what journalists do,” He added in a discussion alleging impropriety on Lemon’s part. “But if it went beyond that if it went into the Cuomo direction of controlling, influencing, directing, giving ideas. Counseling. You’ve got another problem on your hands with CNN.”
Watch above, via Fox News
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