Don Lemon defends Tucker Carlson after Fox host confronted by stranger in viral video

“I don’t like it when people do that because I would not want it to happen to me,” the CNN anchor said.

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CNN host Don Lemon stunned longtime viewers when he defended Fox News host Tucker Carlson after he was harassed in Montana by a man in a fishing store. 

Carlson was shopping for fishing gear with his family at Dan Bailey’s Outdoor Co. in Livingston, Montana. According to the New York Post, Dan Bailey, who is not affiliated with the store, called the right-wing media personality “the worst human.”

The confrontation was recorded by another shopper and Bailey posted the footage Friday. In the accompanying post, he said Carlson is “kill[ing]” people by spreading vaccine misinformation. He also accused him of pushing “extreme racism.” 

“I never thought I’d be in the position to maybe somehow have to defend Tucker Carlson,” Lemon said on his Tuesday night show, before explaining why he takes issue with strangers accosting entertainers in public. 

“I don’t like it,” Lemon said, as reported by Yahoo. “I don’t like it when people do that because I would not want it to happen to me.”

Tucker Carlson, Dan Bailey (Screenshot, Don Lemon (CNN)

Lemon weighed in on the issue after showing a snippet of the viral video. 

“I have mixed emotions because Tucker has done this to people before. Tucker said some really nasty and silly things about me, and the next day there’s paparazzi in front of my house, hiding, taking pictures.”

Lemon continued: “We’re all on TV, we’ve been approached. We hear good things, we hear bad things from people. We don’t even know who they are, it’s part of the gig. Don’t you think this went a little too far, though?”

While Lemon acknowledged that Carlson’s rhetoric is “reprehensible and divorced from reality,” he does not deserve to be “accosted” or “ambushed by anyone.”

CNN commentator Ana Navarro defended the Montana man, noting that the First Amendment allows him free speech and that that’s to be expected when you have a platform and express opinions that upset people.  

“Deal with it,” she suggested.

“But I don’t think that should happen to you, Ana. I don’t think that should happen to [CNN star] Chris [Cuomo]. I don’t think it should happen to me,” Lemon replied.

“Your First Amendment right doesn’t mean invading my personal space, I’m sorry, Ana, I understand what you’re saying and I get it. I think that what Tucker says much, much of the time is completely reprehensible and divorced from reality, but he has a right to be in a space and not be accosted and not be ambushed by anyone.”

Fox News agrees with Lemon. The network put out a statement calling the Montana man’s actions “inexcusable.”

“No public figure should be accosted regardless of their political persuasion or beliefs simply due to the intolerance of another point of view,” Fox said.

Carlson kept his cool during the confrontation with his critic, telling the man Montana “I appreciate that” before laughing when he realizes he’s being recorded.

“Settle down, son,” Carlson said, and Bailey fired back with “Son? Don’t call me son,” following Carlson as he walked away.

Lemon explained during his show Tuesday that he deals with strangers approaching him by showing grace.

“My response is always, ‘Thank you, thank you for watching. I’m so glad. Thank you so much, I appreciate it. Thank you. Thank you,’ even if they say the worst things about me, because I really just want to defuse it and I want them to go away.”

Watch the clip below:

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