CNN Host Don Lemon botched the network’s big New Year’s Eve broadcast by missing the midnight countdown during live coverage in New Orleans.
Lemon forgot to start the countdown to the new year and completely missed the clock striking midnight.
He was busy tossing out beads to the crowd as the band played “Back That Azz Up.”
The host then realized the flub and tried to correct it but it was too late.
Half an hour before the clock struck midnight, Lemon introduced his mother and joked about CNN’s alcohol ban for the event this year after a series of embarrassing missteps.
But when they were all drunk they had a countdown and didn’t miss ringing in the new year.
“I know everyone is wondering, ‘is Don Lemon drinking, is he lit?’ I will let you be the judge,” said Lemon.
“My mom says I don’t need to drink to have this personality.”
“Never,” his mother said.
“This is my natural personality,” Lemon said.
“Everybody thinks I’m drunk every year, I’m not.”
According to Mediaite:
The countdown clock on the screen ticked down to zero and CNN’s split screen showed fireworks going off in Nashville as Lemon seemed unaware it was midnight for a few moments and then trying to hear something in his ear monitor.
“Y’all ready for this countdown?” Lemon shouted as the crowd cheered.
“Midnight! It is New Year’s Eve, it’s 2023!” he yelled after realizing the countdown was no longer needed.
“Happy new year!”
“‘Auld Lang Syne,’ please, man,” Lemon said to the bandleader.
Some viewers claimed “technical difficulties” were the reason for the botch.
Don Lemon had one job to do, but because he was “backing that azz up” he blew through it.
Lemon misses the New Year count down while sober. pic.twitter.com/cDQjcmNLp9
— Kurt Schemers 🇺🇸 (@KurtSchemers) January 1, 2023
We got to see exactly what happens when a reporter’s IFB (audio connection to producer) goes out.@donlemon complained about it since at least 11:30, but nothing was done.
Then he missed the countdown to midnight from producers in his ear.#NewYear2023 #BringBackDrunkDon https://t.co/DzkvhGfSxv
— C.J. LeMaster (@CJLeMaster) January 1, 2023
#HappyNewYear #CNNNYE #NOLA 🎉 @CNN pic.twitter.com/yTKfmhXx5R
— Don Lemon (@donlemon) January 1, 2023