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Don Lemon on Joy Reid Controversy: ‘As a Human Being and as a Journalist, I Support Her’

Joy Reid attends the Tribeca Film Festival on April 20, 2018, in New York. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

WASHINGTON – CNN anchor Don Lemon weighed in on the controversy surrounding past homophobic blog posts attributed to MSNBC anchor Joy Reid, saying he hasn’t “investigated” the matter but “as a human being and as a journalist, I support her.”

Reid recently addressed the situation on-air with her viewers.

“I hired cybersecurity experts to see if somebody had manipulated my words or my former blog, and the reality is they have not been able to prove it,” she said.

“I genuinely do not believe I wrote those hateful things because they are completely alien to me,” she added. “But I can definitely understand based on things I have tweeted and have written in the past why some people don’t believe me.”

The mid-2000s posts on Reid’s blog included ones mocking LGBT people and alleging others were gay or acting gay. She apologized last year for additional old blog posts alleging Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s marriage to a woman was only for show and calling him “Miss Charlie.”

Lemon was asked for his reaction to the controversy.

“Here’s what I have to say. I don’t know enough about the story to comment on it but I will tell you, and again, I don’t really know about it. I haven’t investigated it. I know Joy Reid, I think she’s an important voice,” Lemon, who is openly gay, said on the White House Correspondents’ Dinner red carpet Saturday evening.

“I would hate to hear or see that voice be squashed, but if she did something wrong then she has to suffer the consequences. But as a person and as a human being and as a journalist, I support her and I think she’s an amazing person,” he added. “If she did something wrong, then we’ll see what happens. A lot of people do things wrong; they apologize. I’m not perfect. I’ve made mistakes. Apologize and see where it goes from there.”

Country singer Ty Herndon, who performed at the dinner, said he was disappointed Trump skipped the event for the second year.

“Absolutely. I mean, I would be honored to shake the president’s hand, but I probably would answer honestly if I was asked a few things – so I think we all  have opinions today and there’s a platform to be heard,” he told PJM.

Herndon was asked what he would tell Trump if he had the chance.

“Well, man, I’m gay and I will soon be married and I live in the South and so there’s a lot of discrimination still in the South,” he replied. “And a lot of kids are losing their lives, being kicked out of their homes and their churches. So that’s just kind of what I stand for, man, I stand for love and acceptance.”

“I just hope that one day we can all live in a world where people don’t kill themselves for being who they are. I usually do it through music so I’m not a guy that’s extremely outspoken, but I find myself being more outspoken in music than I’ve ever been to date,” he added.

Herndon said it was harder to come out as a country singer when compared to artists in other genres.

“I think so. I’ve got a huge fan base, you know, I had my first No. 1 record in 1995 so I found the country fan base has pretty much stuck in there with me,” he said. “But my friend Chely Wright came out eight years ago; she had a little bit tougher time. But Nashville is growing up, man, we’re coming a long ways and I have a lot of work to do in the South.”

“I’m working with a program now called ‘Beyond I Do’ with the Ad Council just putting my voice. I’m still a country boy from Alabama so I’m not any different than I ever have been, my life is just a little bit more of an open book,” he added.

Herndon also said he would have a message for Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, if he ran into her at the dinner.

“If I hugged her, I’d probably say ‘bless your heart,’ and there’s a lot said in that little statement right there,” he said.