Don Lemon is America's First Reality News Star

Former Philly Anchor Larry Mendte writes a column for Philadelphia Magazine about CNN's Don Lemon.

Mendte writes it is far too early to tell whether CNN’s Don Lemon is embattled or just growing his brand. He is becoming a household name for all the wrong reasons — but he’s becoming a household name all the same.

When CNN does its talent research, Lemon’s name recognition will creep up on the network’s stars like Anderson Cooper and Wolf Blitzer, even though Lemon’s fame is fueled by his becoming an Internet joke.

The latest Lemon embarrassments are photographs, which have gone viral, of Lemon flashing gang signs and grabbing his crotch at a party. This comes after CNN’s bizarre gas mask reporting from Ferguson, when Lemon trapped smoke inside his own gas mask and couldn’t breathe. And while buildings were on fire and stores were being looted, Lemon complained about the smell of marijuana in the air.

Mendte points out that Lemon caused controversy when he worked in local TV news in both Philly and Chicago. He then points out that although Lemon is a joke as a Anchor/Reporter, he has people watching and that might be all that CNN cares about.

"So ridicule if you must, but you have to watch to know what to ridicule. And CNN, a struggling news network scraping for ratings, is not about to lose anyone who can attract viewers, even if those viewers are locked and loaded at their keyboards ready to write the next great #DonLemonReporting tweet.

As for Lemon flashing gangs signs? Mendte tweets:

Which means maybe Larry Mendte can also get a job in the Twin Cities.