C-SPAN Says It Alerted FBI About Death Threats Made Against Brian Stelter and Don Lemon on Its Channel

By A.J. Katz 

C-SPAN published a statement earlier this afternoon in response to a death threat a caller made against CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter and CNN Tonight anchor Don Lemon during Friday’s edition of Washington Journal. The statement noted that C-SPAN “reported the incident and all relevant information to the FBI. Subsequently, C-SPAN cooperated fully with CNN security officials.

The statement addresses the host’s seeming lack of a response to the threat, saying, “The C-SPAN host did not hear the comment.”

Washington Journal’s “open phones” segment is known to have had some rather “colorful characters” call in over the years, but some have gotten a bit more intense since the Trump presidency began.

It goes without saying that this was a really ugly episode. In addition to threatening to shoot Stelter and Lemon, the caller from Pennsylvania, who called in to speak about media criticism, falsely accusied both men of labeling all Trump supporters racists.

Caller: Good morning. It all started when Trump got elected. Brian Stelter and Don Lemon from CNN calls Trump supporters all racists. They don’t even know us. they don’t even know these Americans out here and there calling is racist because we voted for Trump? C’mon, give me a break. They started the war. If I see them, I’m gonna shoot them. Bye.

Stelter played the audio of the caller during his program yesterday:

“Friday’s threatening phone call is a just a tiny illustration of the threats that are out there,” Stelter commented. “Many journalists who cover politics say they are receiving more and more threats nowadays in the Trump era.”