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Don Lemon stepped in it again Monday, apparently making what he thought was an off-mic remark about Jon Stewart and then, after an awkward pause, backtracking big time.
Don threw to a clip of Jon Stewart interviewing U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks, in which Stewart challenged what he called extreme waste in the DOD’s $850 billion budget. When Hicks took issue with the waste allegation, Jon shot back … “I can’t figure out how $850 billion to a department means that the rank and file still have to be on food stamps. To me, that’s f***ing corruption.”
Exchange between @jonstewart and @DepSecDef Kathleen Hicks on the defense budget: “I can’t figure out how $850 billion to a department means that the rank and file still have to be on food stamps. To me, that’s fucking corruption.” pic.twitter.com/2pu0geUyRE
— CSPAN (@cspan) April 7, 2023
The video of the interview stayed up but the audio cut out, and then you hear Don, apparently talking to his cohosts not realizing his mic was hot, saying, “He gets a lot of leeway with the comedian thing, though.” It seems he was talking to his co-anchors and got caught on air.
There was silence for a few seconds, and then Don tried to recover, saying Stewart is so much more than a comedian. He repeated that again.
For anyone to characterize Stewart as just a comedian would be a real slight, given how passionately he has fought for the rank and file military. Stewart is widely regarded as the singular force that pressured Congress into passing a law extending health care coverage for vets exposed to burn pits.