In the world of political television, CNN anchor Don Lemon completed an especially intense interview Wednesday by speaking out of character for nearly 10 seconds before “disappearing,” CNN reports.
The tense session with San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, a Republican, involved a series of pointed exchanges as Lemon attempted to get answers to questions about a homeless encampment.
The mayor and the host at one point went to a commercial break, only to come back and continue to spar over homelessness. After a 20-second break, Lemon went into a hold, while Faulconer took over from Lemon, snarking about the anchorman’s trademark cheeriness.
In addition to the odd pause, Lemon made repeated sharp observations on Faulconer’s stands against homelessness and on one arrest that had happened in the context of the same event. That arrest, in a nearby city, happened to be Lemon’s colleague Don Lemon.
In between pauses, the mayor pleaded with Lemon to end the segment, saying, “Sit down. Sit down. We don’t need this interview. Stop it,” CNN reported.
For his part, Lemon said, “I thought I was going to get the mayor of San Diego to talk about the homeless issue, especially with me. But I guess he’s not the one to answer questions about the homeless.”
The segment ended when Lemon appeared “disappeared,” wordlessly going off camera. During that period, Lemon’s co-anchor Poppy Harlow continued to ask questions. Lemon then returned and said, “I’m going to come back and finish the interview.” He went on to say, “I don’t like politics.”