'The View' Grills CNN Anchor Lemon on Coverage of Plane Mystery

Monday, 14 Apr 2014 03:24 PM

By Joe Battaglia

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Don Lemon can't stop talking about missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 even when he is outside his CNN studio.

While serving as a guest host Monday on The View,  Lemon was grilled right from the start by Barbara Walters for the network's wall-to-wall coverage of the plane's disappearance more than five weeks ago.

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"You've covered this story more than any other story that I can remember," Walters told Lemon.

"I don't know the exact numbers, but I think you're probably right," he responded. "But the audience interest is there, and the ratings have shown that."

"So you're doing it for the ratings?" Walters asked with a tinge of incredulousness.

"It's not just the ratings, but part of our mission is to give the audience what they want," Lemon argued, adding that he believed CNN's blanket coverage of the plane's disappearance is providing an important service to the grieving families of the passengers, since Malaysia does not have a free and open press.

But Walters refused to let the ratings issue drop.

"CNN would not do this day after day after day if not for the ratings, so what do you think is the most intriguing part of it?" she asked Lemon.

"I don't think we do it just for the ratings," Lemon reiterated. "We do a lot of things that don't rate well but still do it. But I think it is a mystery when you have something as big as a giant Triple 7 disappear in this day and age with so much technology where everything is tracked and have no trace of it for five weeks."

Perhaps the best line of the exchange, however, was delivered by Jenny McCarthy.

"Maybe CNN took the plane," she quipped.

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