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The Edmonton Jacket Explained: No, Don Lemon Didn't Fake A Report From Ukraine
There's an actual explanation for the mysterious "Edmonton" firefighter.
Apparently, I wasn’t the only one who thought it was odd that Don Lemon, who doesn’t even seem able to hold his tequila on New Year’s Eve, would suddenly wind up smack-dab in the middle of a war zone, Lviv, Ukraine, to provide on-the-ground coverage of an “airstrike”.
And nobody would love to come to the conclusion that Lemon faked his on the ground reporting this week more than I - but it just simply isn’t where the facts are leading me.
Let me explain.
This week, Lemon provided on the ground reporting from Ukraine after a Russian airstrike on a fuel depot near Lviv, Ukraine.
“We heard 3 blasts, and now CNN’s Don Lemon is on the ground there,” a March 26, 2022 lead in to Lemon’s reporting said this past week. CNN cut to Lemon, reporting outside of a fuel depot somewhere, as firefighters scrambled around and locals milled around, staring blankly into CNN’s camera.
“Russians Hit Fuel Depot In Lviv Ahead Of Biden Speech In Nearby Poland,” the chryon reads.
But the internet started to take exception to one part of the video. At one point, a firefighter was seen wandering around in a jacket that said “EDMONTON” on the back of it.
This spurred numerous conspiracy theories that Lemon was working in front of a green screen, that CNN may have been using video of an Edmonton fuel depot fire from 2017, or that the entire incident was made up.
Just look at how many people think they have caught CNN and Lemon in a lie.
But after watching the video numerous times, it appeared genuine.
Of course, Lemon himself doesn’t appear genuine, which is probably why people are questioning the clip to begin with. But the surroundings, the video editing, the interactions with locals and the footage itself all seemed to be legitimate.
So I decided to dig deeper, and it appears there’s actually a reasonable explanation for the conspiracy theory. Firefighters in Edmonton donated a ton of gear to firefighters in Ukraine about 5 years ago.
According to a CBC article, from 2017:
A group of Edmonton firefighters and dispatchers delivered 600 protective suits to fire fighting crews in Ukraine along with other equipment like oxygen tanks, hoses and nozzles.
"The excitement you could see, and the disbelief in the faces of the firefighters, the administrators, when we would open the boxes," said Edmonton firefighter Kevin Royle, who spearheaded a local effort to collect the gear.
"I don't know what they were expecting, but it seemed that they were blown away by the quality of equipment we brought over."
Eight Edmonton firefighters and dispatchers left on Sept. 11 for Ukraine, delivering gear to six different regions of the country before returning on Oct. 3.
And if you watch the video linked to the article, it shows Ukrainian firefighters wearing Edmonton’s fire gear.
I’m not a betting man, but I’d bet the back of that Jacket says “EDMONTON” on it.
Conclusion? There’s no doubt Don Lemon is a weenie. But if you’re going to give him shit about something, this may not be the hill you want to die on.
I had to push my chips in, I’d bet he was actually in Ukraine.