Don Lemon silences panelist over 'fake news' claims

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11: Don Lemon attends CNN Heroes Gala 2016 at the American Museum of Natural History on December 11, 2016 in New York City. 26362_011 (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Turner)

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NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11: Don Lemon attends CNN Heroes Gala 2016 at the American Museum of Natural History on December 11, 2016 in New York City. 26362_011 (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Turner)

References to fake news have been dominating media and headlines for weeks now, with a surge since President Donald Trump accused CNN of being fake news after the network promoted unflattering stories about him.

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Fake news became a popular phrase during the 2016 election. Americans' sharing of unverified or outright false stories has not been exclusive to Republicans or Democrats, but symptomatic of growing extreme partisanship of election news coverage.

Unfortunately, fake news hasn’t gone anywhere and continues to be a problem for both liberals and conservatives, and news outlets have been forced to continue covering the topic. For some people, “fake news” has become a convenient catch-all phrase to deflect points of view they don’t like.

That belief is what sent CNN’s Don Lemon over the edge during an interview on Friday night.

Lemon was leading a discussion about the cost of protecting the Trump family as they continue to maintain residence in the White House and New York City and consistently frequent Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in Florida. There is concern that the American taxpayers will end up footing the bill of the enormous cost to protect the Trump family as they continue to travel so frequently. Maria Cardona and Karine Jean-Pierre said Trump’s actions are hypocritical considering how much he criticized then-President Obama for the cost of his travels.

“I think it's complete hypocrisy,” panelist and former White House staffer Karine Jean-Pierre told Lemon on the show. “He chastised President Obama for going on vacation, for golfing, and President Obama had less vacation, fewer vacation days than his predicesor, President George W. Bush.”

Lemon then turned his attention to panelist Paris Dennard, who Trump praised recently for doing “an amazing job in a very hostile CNN community.” Dennard told Lemon, “I think this is fake news. This is not a news story.”

Lemon was immediately stirred, asking Dennard if he knows the definition of fake news.

Lemon the defended the newscast's discussion, saying, “There’s nothing fake about that. Please stop it with that stupid talking point that it is a fake news story. If you don’t want to participate in the news stories on this network, then don’t come on and participate. But don’t call them fake because you don’t agree with them.”

Lemon’s words didn’t do anything to change Dennard’s view of the situation, as he reiterated once again that the story was fake news. At that point in the conversation, Lemon abruptly cut him off and cut the newscast short.

Watch the incident below.

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