Back in November, it was reported that higher-ups at CNN wanted to squash some of the notoriously rowdy aspects of their annual New Year's Eve broadcasts, which have become infamous over the years after some of the hosts (anchors at the network) and/or their guests threw caution to the wind, got drunk, and in the process said some not-so-family-friendly things on the air.
According to a report by Variety:
“While Anderson Cooper will still be able to imbibe during primetime hours—along with his co-host Andy Cohen—while the duo holds forth in Times Square, correspondents and anchors who may have slurped down alcoholic concoctions on camera (or off) in the past will be required to halt the practice.”
“[CNN CEO Chris] Licht told employees he felt on-camera drinking eroded the credibility of CNN personnel and damaged the ‘respectability' they may enjoy among viewers,” Variety included in their report.
Although there's still no word on whether CNN celebrities will be permitted to smoke marijuana on live TV, as was the case in 2017, or even jump into a tub filled with liquor and a drag queen, as occurred in 2019, it is clear that long-time CNN anchor Don Lemon will be the hardest impacted and has made it public that he's not pleased about it. The “exception to the rule” issue with Cooper and Cohen being allowed to drink has been rescinded:
“This year, Licht said in one internal meeting that Cooper and Cohen will be permitted to imbibe, prompting Cooper to tell network leadership he’s concerned at the perception that only the two white hosts are permitted to drink. According to Semafor:
“Licht then walked that rule back: ‘Chris made an offhand remark in a town hall about drinking during the NYE program,’ an aide said. ‘Shortly after, he proactively reached out to Anderson to clarify that his comments were meant as a joke and that he preferred no drinking on air at all.’
“In any event Lemon, who will likely be dispatched to hard-partying New Orleans, was not pleased about the sober state of things, another CNN insider said.”
It is possible that Licht watched footage of Lemon from previous “celebrations,” including the 2021 New Year's Eve Live celebration, in which Lemon ran off in a wild, drunken talk about being a “grown a** man” and did not care how his critics viewed him, at one point twerking. The worst part was that moment when Lemon’s friend and comedian/co-host Dulce Sloan was forced to repeat a snarky joke about the anatomy of a male to Lemon several times before Lemon finally “got it”—on live television.
Many would argue that the New Year’s Eve broadcasts are one of the very few times throughout the year when Lemon actually appears to be human. Whatever the truth may be, we should send our prayers to the ten regular viewers of CNN who are sure to be extremely disappointed by the news.