Things have been going downhill for CNN’s Don Lemon ever since CEO Chris Licht, in his supposed quest to make the network respectable and less liberally biased, made the decision in September to move him from his coveted prime time “Tonight” slot to the weekday morning slot alongside fellow anchors Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.
Despite the few scattered instances where Lemon has engaged in actual journalism and strayed from woke dogma, the show has been a disaster as he has by and large made a fool out of himself on an almost daily basis, awkwardly sparring with colleagues on and off set and throwing tantrums over staffers who had the nerve to reference his and the show’s problems in a CNN newsletter.
The latest example, of course, is the one that is still being widely discussed and debated – his eye-opening comments Thursday about how 2024 GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley, former President Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, was not “in her prime.”
Though Lemon, who was even mocked Friday by the Biden White House, has “apologized” over his ageist and sexist remarks (he wasn’t on set Friday because he had previously scheduled the day off), a bigger issue – in my humble opinion – has emerged, and that is a review of Lemon’s past comments towards female Democratic candidates for president who were older than Haley (she is 51) and how they stand in stark contrast to how he tried to diminish the former South Carolina governor:
Lemon appeared impressed with [69-year-old] Warren’s performance at a CNN town hall the following month, telling viewers she “handled herself pretty well” and “had an answer for everything,” adding he didn’t see anything that was going to “hurt her” on the campaign trail.
After he himself moderated a town hall with then-58-year-old Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Lemon declared she did “very well.”
“She’s warm, she’s personable, but guess what – she’s real. She’s a truth-teller,” Lemon told CNN colleague Dana Bash.
Lemon also repeatedly gushed over then-Sen. Kamala Harris’ performance on the campaign trail during her failed run for president and then, after Joe Biden selected her to be his running mate:
He offered a similar response to then-California Sen. Kamala Harris, 54, following a separate CNN town hall, saying that the former prosecutor answered questions “in a very prosecutorial way,” adding her comments were “very thought out” and that she was “very prepared with information and knowledge on all of the subjects that she tackled and questions she had this evening.”
When then Democratic nominee Joe Biden tapped then-55-year-old Harris to be his running mate in August 2020, Lemon had an emotional message to Black women while celebrating the future VP.
“Despite all that you do, year after year, of this country overlooking you, passing you over, not giving your due, Black women, for tonight at least, America is not taking you for granted,” Lemon said.
Look, we all know Lemon and most of his colleagues at CNN are liberally biased, though he’s denied the accusation. But it just doesn’t get any more obvious than this. Haley, a GOP candidate for president at age 51, is past “her prime” but female Democratic candidates for president-including some that were considerably older than Haley when they declared their respective candidacies-got the pillow-plumping treatment.
As others have said, it’s almost like Lemon is trying to get fired from CNN at this point, in wearing his bias so openly on his sleeve. Licht is probably hesitant to, primarily because Lemon is a gay, black man- and Licht doesn’t want to take any flak from the woke mob for doing something many CNN critics suggested be done with Lemon a long time ago.
But then again, Lemon managed this week to do something that is a rare thing in America these days, unite the right and some on the left against what he said. Maybe that will be the impetus Licht needs to get Lemon to “resign” before he embarrasses the still-struggling network even more.
Related: CNN’s Asha Rangappa Accidentally Exposes Folly of Identity Politics in Embarrassing Twitter Exchange