May 16th, 2008
01:59 PM ET
6 years ago

Ludacris and Tommy Lee talk politics

CNN Anchor Don Lemon talks politics with Ludacris and Tommy Lee
CNN Anchor Don Lemon talks politics with Ludacris and Tommy Lee

ATLANTA (CNN) - I’m not exactly sure how it happened. But yesterday I found myself involved in an intense discussion about politics in the middle of the newsroom with…. Wait for it…. rapper Ludacris and rocker Tommy Lee. The two men were here to promote their new reality show “Battleground Earth.” In the show both artists try to out green each other while trying to coax viewers into environmental consciousness.

Out of the gate I asked about green backlash. Many people feel like this entire “going green” movement has become more marketing than reality. They agreed that while people might see it that way, it’s not necessarily so, at least in their view.

Tommy Lee admits he’s not a political junkie - he says he rarely watches television or listens to news reports. So he had no opinion on the presidential candidates’ environmental policies. In fact, he had no opinions on any of their policies. “Man, tell you the truth, I only listen to music,” he said in front of the entire room and about four cameras. He seemed sincere. I didn’t press him.

Ludacris, however, was very opinionated. He very strongly said to me, “I support Barack Obama.” He is happy with Obama’s environmental policies, and keenly aware of just how much attention this election is garnering from the American people. But when I tried to press him on other issues like race, religion and HIV in the black community, he steered the conversation back to his stance on the environment. He did promise, however, to address those issues with me in another interview at another time. Smooth. Ludacris has come a long way in a short time: from rapper to social activist to environmental cheerleader.

As he and Tommy Lee walked off, entourage and reality TV cameras in tow, I thought to myself: if someone had told me at breakfast that I’d be talking with Tommy Lee and Ludacris later in the day about the environment and politics I would have called them a liar, which just goes to show, you never know. For hanging out just a bit with music superstars, I got mad props from my colleagues here at CNN.


Filed under: Politics
soundoff (96 Responses)
  1. Montana is Obama Country

    .........Luda...Rocks...

    ........Obama... Rocks...

    ............Tommy Lee.. well.. he likes his ON the Rocks...

    OBAMA/LUDACRIS....2008...

    Yes....We..Ca,,,,,Rockkkkkkkkkkk.....!!!!

    May 16, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. Montana is Obama Country

    Yes...we...Can.... Rockkkk.....!!!

    May 16, 2008 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. darren

    IM TIRED OF PEOPLE ASKING WHETHER STUFF IS NEWS WORTHY LOL YOU PEOPLE NEED TO LIGHTEN UP!!!! PANTIES IN A BUNCH!!

    OBAMA 08

    May 16, 2008 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. joyce

    BREAKING NEWS

    bill clinton had to leave kansas a long time back for getting a girl pregnant. her mail family ran him out

    it was in the washington times today under

    ( little rock hits noisy tingel)

    May 16, 2008 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  5. Bobbie J. Bayles

    I believe that there should be rules for ALL election campaigns that the
    Candidate's could not, in any way, shape, or form say ANYTHING
    about their opponent! They should only be allowed to talk about
    their own merit's and ambitions! People are sick and tired of the
    mud-slinging insults and it, frankly, makes the Candidates look
    "sleazy" ENOUGH!
    Bobbie J. Bayles

    May 16, 2008 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  6. Eli

    The only reason this is news to CNN is because this rapper says he is for Obama, WOW what a shocker. Since his name was the only one brought up this is very news worhty for their GOLDEN BOY.

    HILLARY CLINTON as a INDEPENDENT this fall.
    Life long Democrat that is sick of the DEMOCRAT HEADS.

    May 16, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  7. Matt

    Pat Riot, in case you missed it, Obama's supporters are generally the more educated people. Hillary is the one getting the less educated vote.

    May 16, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  8. Matt

    It is also really funny to me how some people say Obama's campaign is hate filled. How do you figure? Your only arguement is something his former pastor said, which was taken out of context. Who are the people spewing hate? He is about bringing America together, unless you missed every speach he has given you would see that. That is why he has refraigned from attacking unless attacked. And to those say he is racist? After being raised by his WHITE mother and WHITE grandparents? Ignorance astounds me.

    May 16, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  9. Drew

    Are you kidding me? Who cares what these guys think. I can't believe CNN has posted this. This type of report should be in the cartoon section of the local newspaper. Since when does Tommy Lee, a rock star who is probably still hung over and apparently in a close second to Ozzy Osbourne to a self induced heart attack, and Ludacris, a rapper who makes his living off well rapping, become the voice of the common man. These men provide entertainment and entertainment alone. There is nothing wrong with that. This country has afforded them that opportunity and they made the best of it. Good on them. But in no way do they represent the common man. They have luxurious lifestyles, millions of dollars and apparently living THEIR " American dream." Why doesn't CNN get out of their office chairs, earn a paycheck, and do some real reporting and talk to some normal people and get their opinion on what's REALLY GOING ON. Whoever wrote this article, but more importantly approved this article should refer back to their Journalistic roots and realize that they may want to put a filter on bottom rung thinking (stupid ideas) next time. I clicked on this link to see if this was a joke.... unfortunately it wasn't. In closing, for the moderator, if you don't post this please do something with it...take it to your supervisor as feedback for the future

    May 16, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  10. Marc

    Having met Tommy at Apple during their reunion tour with Motley Crue it is clear the guy is a big kid who won't win awards for being "deep," but will get credit for being sincere and upfront.

    He is who he is and just an artist who makes his living as an artist with no designs to enter into Politics or other areas.

    I can see him being serious about the environment, as much as Tommy can be seeing as his ex-wife is a strident supporter of PITA.

    At any rate, the guy is just a very honest, friendly, nice guy who won't stir the pot much. He's just a straight up musician.

    May 16, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  11. sanger, tx

    Matt, if your'e so damm educated, why are you voting for a fool? Not to mention naive and out of touch . GO MCCAIN!!!!

    May 16, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  12. beverly

    lou dobbs should run for the presidency, he knows everything.he always seems to being attacking obama, he seem to like hillary, john mccain be fair it would be nice for a change, not always show your true colors. at one time it was a pleasure to listen to you. now when you come i changing the statation until campbell brown comes on.

    May 16, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  13. Peter

    Obama 08 can take anything, after all....With Huck making inappropiate jokes, Bush "Not getting involved with campaign 08" McSame hitting Obama, and the Billary offense, A man taking that heat could easily be better than our current president

    May 16, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  14. gary

    MATT. YOUR MORTALITY SHOWS YOUR AGE. WE ARE NOT UNEDUCATED. WE DONT VOTE FOR A CANIDATE BECAUSE HE HAS A SMOOTH SPEECH. WE DONT VOTE FOR AN UNKNOWN CANIDATE WITHOUT A TRACK RECORD. WE DONT VOTE FOR A CANIDATE THAT HAS NO KNOW HOW OR QUALIFICATIONS. WE DONT VOTE FOR A CANIDATE FOR RACE. WE ARE NOT THE HATERS. NOW WHO IN THE HELL ARE THE STUPID ONES. YOU ARE A LOW LIFE PUNK. GET A LIFE. ITS PEOPLE LIKE YOU THAT ARE GOING TO HURT YOUR CANIDATE IN NOV. WHAT COMES AROUND GOES AROUND. AMERICA DESERVES WHAT THEY GET IF YOU YOUNG HATERS ARE OUR FUTURE. CONCERNED VIET NAM VET

    May 16, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  15. Nate

    Seriously, who cares?

    Who are these people really? Why do we consider their views important enough to receive news coverage?

    What a joke CNN.

    May 16, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  16. ROCHELLE

    That is a great thing. I hope that they campaign to get out the vote so that everyone gets a chance to vote this year and hopefully it will be fair and just.

    May 16, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  17. Kactus_Kat

    Well, other than giving me something MORE to rant about, this article was a true waste of energy – both personal & earthly kinds!

    Ludacris was caught, obviously, being just that, Ludacris. A black man for a black man. A black man, not knowing Obama's platform or views and deciding he is the best qualified person for the job.

    This is not a surprise in America. We pick people because they look nice, they smell nice, they have an education, and they don't live in a trailer. I'm betting that's about all Ludacris knows about Obama – and I'm betting Obama knows even less about him.

    The lack of mentality in the news media never ceases to both shock and appall me.

    *yawns*

    May 16, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  18. An American in Canada for David

    Tell them when they get off drugs they can discuss intellectual subjects such as who's policies are better, who has character and substance and who will be ready on day one.

    And that they are actually discussion the most prestigious job in America, the leader of the free world... JJJEEEEEZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

    May 16, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  19. crobinson

    To the idiots who refer to Ludacris as a "high-school dropout" he actually attended COLLEGE at Clark Atlanta University where he studied communications!

    Is that a veiled attempt at racism?

    May 16, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  20. Lilly

    I think Tommy Lee supports Clinton. Loser for a Loser !

    May 16, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  21. Jamal Brown

    MCCAIN 08!!!!!

    May 16, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
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