Monday was a tumultuous day for cable news. Fox News Media announced that the No. 1 ranked cable news host Tucker Carlson was no longer with the network — effective last Friday. News anchor Don Lemon announced via Twitter that CNN executives told his agent he had been terminated.
Both men were evidently unaware the axe was about to fall. Tucker ended his Friday broadcast by telling his 3.5 million viewers: “We’ll be back on Monday. … Have the best weekend with the ones that you love. We’ll see you then.”
Lemon wrote on Twitter: “I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN. I am stunned.
Some on the left and the right were quick to celebrate the news. The ladies on “The View” praised the dismissal of Carlson and led their audience in a cheer, a wave and a song.
On Monday evening, former President Donald Trump noted that he was “shocked” to learn that Fox News dismissed Tucker Carlson, while he mocked Don Lemon’s termination.
“Good News: ‘The dumbest man on television,’ Don Lemon, has finally been fired from Fake News CNN. My only question is, WHAT TOOK THEM SO LONG?” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
Trump and Lemon have had a tempestuous relationship. Lemon called Trump a “liar,” a “coward” and “unfit for office” during various CNN broadcasts. In the runup to the 2020 election, Lemon accused Trump of racism and bigotry during a Democratic presidential debate.
At the time, Trump responded to Lemon by tweeting: “CNN’s Don Lemon, the dumbest man on television, insinuated last night while asking a debate ‘question’ that I was a racist, when in fact I am ‘the least racist person in the world.'”
Trump added: “Perhaps someone should explain to Don that he is supposed to be neutral, unbiased & fair, or is he too dumb (stupid} to understand that. No wonder CNN’s ratings (MSNBC’s also) have gone down the tubes — and will stay there until they bring credibility back to the newsroom. Don’t hold your breath!”
Lemon responded by doubling down on charges of racism. During a CNN broadcast Lemon said:
“The president has called a lot of people stupid. Some of those people are white. But I would just like to note that referring to an African American as dumb — remember this is America — is one of the oldest canards of America’s racist past and present: that black people are of inferior intelligence.”
Amid sinking ratings and controversy, Lemon was demoted from his primetime anchor position last fall and moved to a weekend morning show. Trump commented in September:
“A small step for television, a giant step for mankind. Don Lemon, often called ‘the dumbest man on television’ having made even Lebron James look smart during their interview two years ago, has been FIRED from his prime time evening spot on CNN — extremely low ratings — and will be thrown into their ‘Death Valley’ morning show,” he wrote.
“I assume this means a BIG salary cut prior to his Complete & Total future firing from Ratings Challenged (to put it mildly!) CNN. Good luck Don, you’ll need it! MAGA!!!” Trump added.
On Monday, Kellyanne Conway, a former Trump White House adviser, told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that dismissing Lemon was the right move for CNN:
“I want you to understand this because this is the difference between Don Lemon and [Hannity] and other people,” Conway said. “He was always unprepared.”
Conway added that newer CNN CEO Chris Licht showed “some moxie” in firing Lemon.
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