Lemon Left CNN Leaders 'Exasperated' After Recent Blow-Up: Is This What Did Him In?
It was one of those times when the actions of a news network actually became the breaking story. On Monday, in a dramatic development, a veteran news anchor was suddenly fired from his show on a major media company.
In this case, it was not Tucker Carlson. Carlson’s shocking removal completely overshadowed the story about another seasoned broadcaster.
In a move considered long overdue by some, CNN finally fired host Don Lemon. And although CNN did not refer to any specific incident, it’s more than possible that an embarrassing, on-air outburst last week against business executive and Republican contender for president Vivek Ramaswamy was the final straw for Lemon.
Earlier this month, anonymous CNN insiders told Fox News they couldn’t understand why Lemon was still employed. His ratings at “CNN This Morning,” with co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins, were bad even by CNN’s poor standards, and he provoked numerous controversies with consistent misbehavior.
Lemon announced his termination on Twitter on Monday.
— Don Lemon (@donlemon) April 24, 2023
“I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN,” he wrote. “I am stunned. After 17 years at CNN I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly. At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network. It is clear that there are some larger issues at play.”
While #CNN‘s post on its site seemed to indicate that it was ending things on a good note, Lemon was visibly angry with the decision.https://t.co/ijJNNs8eE0
— WION (@WIONews) April 24, 2023
In an article covering Lemon’s confrontation with Ramaswamy and its potential link to his firing, Fox News noted CNN disputed Lemon’s version of events, saying, “Don Lemon’s statement about this morning’s events is inaccurate. He was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter.”
On April 19, Lemon got into a heated exchange with Ramaswamy about constitutional rights, including gun rights, for black Americans, especially in the context of the post-Civil War South.
Lemon tried to play the race card to overrule Ramaswamy. Lemon stated only black people were qualified to comment on those past and current issues: “When you are in black skin and then you live in this country. Then you can disagree with me, but we’re not.”
He claimed to be personally insulted by Ramaswamy’s opinions.
While the awkward exchange took place, Lemon seemed to disregard what were probably frantic messages coming to him from his producers.
“Please. I cannot keep a thought if you guys are talking in my ear. So hang on one second,” Lemon said, removing his earpiece in order to continue the argument.
According to The New York Times, the incident left CNN executives “exasperated.”
“The segment deteriorated as the men fiercely debated questions of Black history and the Second Amendment; Mr. Lemon’s co-anchor Ms. Harlow could be seen sitting silently beside him, at times casting her gaze elsewhere and scrolling through her smartphone,” the Times wrote.
The clash is below:
That open insubordination alone could be grounds enough for termination, but Lemon had given CNN executives plenty of other reasons already. The accumulation of damaging missteps must have become too big to forgive.
Lemon treated losing his prime-time slot and move to a morning show as if it were a promotion. But behind the scenes, and even on air, Lemon clashed with his co-anchors.
February 2023 was a troubling time for Lemon. He was temporarily taken off the air for sexist comments after claiming women over the age of 50 were considered “past their prime.” His two female co-hosts did not appreciate the sentiment.
This came days after the New York Post published an article about a December incident in which Lemon reportedly yelled at Collins, making her flee the set. IN yet another incident on the air, Lemon patronized Collins by criticizing her interview with Republican Rep. James Comer, chairman of the House Oversight Committee.
No wonder female staffers supposedly gave an ultimatum: Either Lemon goes, or we go.
When Lemon found out about his negative reputation, instead of learning and improving, he had an even bigger meltdown.
And then last week, Lemon basically told a presidential contender — the son of immigrants from India — that he had no right to speak on a pressing public issue literally because of the color of his skin.
How bad do you have to be to get fired from CNN? Apparently, Don Lemon bad.
Lemon was known for “diva-like” behavior and a bad attitude, which made it difficult to work with him. If CNN is trying to reinvent itself as less of a progressive propaganda network and more of a news outlet, losing Lemon was the right move. The man is insufferable — and not just for Republicans.
It’s uncertain what Lemon’s next moves will be.
Perhaps he will apply with Fox News executives. Word is, they have a recent opening in their prime-time lineup.
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