Person of the Year CNN Anchor Don Lemon Welcomes 2019 and New Congress

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Benjamin Maisani, Don Lemon, Anderson Cooper, and Lemon's partner Tim Malone.

“In a matter of hours, things are going to get real for this president,” according to CNN anchor Don Lemon, who yesterday spoke on CNN Tonight about the power shift taking place in Washington today.

Lemon is looking for 2019 to bring unexpected changes to the landscapes of news and politics, and as 2018 drew to a close, Metrosource picked him as our Man of the Year for our annual People We Love list.

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In return, Lemon had this to say from the anchor desk:

“This is no game,” Lemon added on last night’s program. “This is the eve of the day that could change everything for this president. But he’s doing what he’s been doing since Day One: making false statements, misleading claims… downright lying, again and again and again.”

Back in October when Lemon sat for our cover interview, he had no idea who would emerge victorious in the midterms — but he was clear on the objectives of those in control. And, as a man who’s black, gay and in the media spotlight, he’s in a unique position to comment on what’s at stake.

“The simple part of it, putting all that together, is that those who are in power want to hold onto their power,” he says flatly. “I don’t know that it’s an effort to deliberately keep me disenfranchised; maybe not directly. Maybe they don’t realize that. But it’s an effort for them to stay in power, and to hold onto what they have and to hold onto status, de facto keeping me and people like me disenfranchised. And so again, that’s why it’s incumbent upon me to call it out and to speak the truth. Truth to power.”

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And, while a lot of Americans have resolutions of their own for 2019, when asked about what would be his own ideal show, Lemon was both amused and reflective in his reply:

“It’s really weird,” he says finally looking up. “Because I’ve thought about that. I think the show that I would do has been done before, and I would go back and do what Oprah did. She was way before her time — and I would start to teach people about the power of power versus force — and that it’s more influential and more effective to be powerful than to be forceful.”

Then he smiles — realizing his plate is already full covering the day’s news and an administration that’s careening from one policy misstep to another like a clown car with no one at the wheel. “I could always do more,” he says. “We could always do more. But there are only so many hours in the day, and there’s only one me.”

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Last modified: January 21, 2019