Right here in the present day – Don tomorrow.
The timing had all of the makings of a TV farce. Simply as newsrooms all over the world have been scrambling to make sense of the shock ousting of one other titan of cable information – particularly Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox – Don Lemon took to Twitter on Monday to announce his equally sudden dismissal from CNN, the place he’d labored for almost 17 years.
‘I used to be knowledgeable this morning by my agent that I’ve been terminated by CNN. I’m surprised,’ the 57-year-old TV anchor raged in a blistering assertion.
Solely hours earlier, Lemon – who reportedly earned $4 million a yr – had fortunately tweeted a clip from that day’s version of CNN This Morning, which he co-hosted. Little did he know it will be his final.
Nobody ‘in administration’ had the ‘decency’ to inform him straight, he continued. ‘It’s clear that there are some bigger points at play.’
For his or her half, CNN hit again, slamming Lemon’s claims as ‘inaccurate’ and saying he had been ‘provided a chance to satisfy with administration.’
As newsrooms all over the world have been scrambling to make sense of one other cable information shock departure, Don Lemon took to Twitter to announce his equally sudden dismissal from CNN
However whereas pundits jumped on-air to specific their profound shock at Carlson’s exit from Fox Information, few voices may very well be discovered to say the identical of Lemon’s demise.
In any case, this has been lengthy overdue.
Certainly, Lemon’s departure comes simply weeks after DailyMail.com reported that feminine CNN staff have been more and more involved Lemon had turn into ‘untouchable’ – and that community bosses have been defending him regardless of a litany of accusations of merciless misogyny and maltreatment of fellow workers going again a long time.
‘Unquestionably, a white straight male would have been fired by now,’ one worker stated of Lemon, who got here out as homosexual in 2011. ‘He is a minority in his race and sexuality… Don appears to be in a protected class, and he continues to get away with habits that others would not.’
That safety is now lastly over. Nonetheless, as well-placed CNN insiders completely reveal in the present day, Lemon could not have gotten the ax over what everyone seems to be assuming was the ultimate affront.
DON BECOMES A ‘WHIRLING DERVISH IN AN UNCONTROLLABLE TAILSPIN’
Early studies pointed to a very combative interview final week with Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, by which Lemon turned visibly pissed off along with his visitor.
Ramaswamy had just lately spoken on the annual Nationwide Rifle Affiliation conference, the place he made the controversial commentary that Southern Democrats — within the aftermath of the Civil Warfare — restricted the gun rights of newly freed black folks and sought to maintain them in bondage.
Lemon’s CNN co-host Poppy Harlow initially questioned Ramaswamy. It was palpably tense on set, however civil.
Solely when Lemon chimed in did it flip ugly.
‘If you end up in black pores and skin and you reside on this nation, then you possibly can disagree with me,’ Lemon snapped at Ramaswany, an Indian-American man, earlier than repeatedly accusing him of mendacity and failing to supply proof.
‘I feel what occurred was his head exploded and he misplaced himself,’ Ramaswamy advised DailyMail.com this week.
Early studies pointed to a very combative interview final week with Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, by which Lemon turned visibly pissed off
‘My feedback threw him for a loop… He turned a whirling dervish in an uncontrollable tailspin. He was screaming on the producers in his earpiece.’
Many observers have since claimed the unprofessional on-air outburst lastly satisfied CNN executives that it was time for Lemon to go. However, not so, in response to the CNN insiders who spoke to DailyMail.com.
‘Everyone seems to be speaking about the best way he interacted with Vivek,’ one supply stated. ‘However the best way he talked to Poppy on the finish of that interview, which type of acquired misplaced within the explosiveness, was not misplaced on Poppy or the executives.’
‘You may simply inform from Poppy’s physique language that she was pissed off – and that he’ll by no means study.’
Watch the interview intently — and you’ll hear Lemon seem to rudely reduce off his colleague, as she tries to maneuver issues alongside from the confrontation and wrap up the interview.
‘Okay, can we transfer on now please,’ he interjects, leaning again and buttoning his jacket.
Poppy – seemingly exasperated – turns to Lemon.
‘Thanks,’ she says shortly, and carries on.
‘That’s what he was accused of doing over and over,’ a CNN supply stated. ‘That was the sample – dismissing, chopping off, massive footing.’
‘And whereas executives may not have favored the emotional messiness of that Vivek interview, what they actually don’t desire is the continued allegations of sexism and misogyny. Finally, I feel that was extra damaging.’
‘I feel what occurred was his head exploded and he misplaced himself,’ Ramaswamy advised DailyMail.com this week
When DailyMail.com reached out for a response to those insider allegations, CNN declined to remark.
TROUBLED ANCHOR LEAVES BITTER TASTE: ‘HE HAS BURNED ALL HIS BRIDGES HERE’
‘Everyone seems to be celebrating his firing. For months, folks have been questioning what it was going to take,’ one supply stated of the temper contained in the community now that he is gone.
‘Persons are relieved. Now we will all get again to work,’ one other added. ‘It was a nuisance having to work together with Don – his antics have been distracting. The sensation was that the community was defending him on the expense of others. And that made CNN a troublesome place to work for some time.’
‘The stress is now a lot decrease, particularly amongst ladies who felt as if this could have occurred a very long time in the past,’ a 3rd insider revealed.
Actually, Lemon’s exit represents a crushing fall from grace for a person who turned one of many best-known faces on American TV.
Extremely bold and with an apparent knack for on-screen reportage, Lemon rose rapidly by the ranks after becoming a member of CNN in 2006, incomes a self-titled present eight years later.
From there, his profession went from energy to energy, with Lemon embraced on the liberal community because the poster-boy of the woke set up and authority on race points in an more and more divided America.
Lemon’s exit represents a crushing fall from grace for a person who turned one of many best-known faces on American TV
That was till final yr, when CNN viewing figures collapsed. March scores have been down some 61% and Licht – who took over in Might – moved to steer the struggling community away from stale, partisan political commentary.
As such, Lemon promptly misplaced his prime-time internet hosting gig and was moved as a substitute to hitch journalists Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins on the newly minted CNN This Morning present.
Destructive studies started to emerge virtually instantly.
First, in December, we heard that Collins, 30, was rumored to have fled the set in tears after Lemon berated her for interrupting him throughout a phase.
Then in February this yr, issues bubbled over additional, as Lemon was accused of blatant on-screen misogyny.
In a dwell phase discussing Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, 51, Lemon stated: ‘[She] is not in her prime, sorry. A girl is taken into account to be of their prime in 20s and 30s and possibly 40s.’
Harlow, 41, appeared shocked by what she was listening to: ‘What are you speaking about, wait… prime for what?’
Following an more and more uncomfortable forwards and backwards, Harlow reportedly left the set ‘with Collins following her to attempt to speak to her.’
The ugly incident noticed Lemon taken off-air for 3 days. However after the brief absence, a ‘frank and significant dialog’ with Licht and an settlement to undertake a single day of coaching, he was again.
Insiders branded the weak punishment ‘a f***ing joke’.
Lemon promptly misplaced his prime-time internet hosting gig and was moved as a substitute to hitch journalists Poppy Harlow (proper) and Kaitlan Collins (left) on the newly minted CNN This Morning present
STORIES OF LEMON’S ALLEGED MISOGYNISTIC ABUSE ‘CAME OUT OF THE WOODWORK’
Then, earlier this month, a searing take-down emerged in Selection Journal, headlined merely: ‘Don Lemon’s Misogyny at CNN, Uncovered.’
The article depicted Lemon as a power-hungry, jealous and viciously aggressive colleague, relationship again to his early days at CNN Atlanta.
Simply two years after becoming a member of the community in 2006, Lemon started co-anchoring a weekday present with veteran journalist Kyra Phillips.
The pair reportedly did not see eye to eye – however issues turned downright weird after Lemon is claimed to have launched a secret intimidation marketing campaign towards Phillips after she was chosen for a plum job to be embedded with US forces in Iraq.
Lemon would ‘tear up photos and notes on high of and inside Phillips’ desk’ in a cubicle they shared, Selection claimed.
When she returned from Iraq, sources declare she additionally acquired threatening textual content messages from an unknown quantity that learn, ‘Now you’ve got crossed the road, and you are going to pay for it.’
The texts have been reportedly traced to Lemon, although he denies the claims.
In a press release on the time CNN dismissed the Selection article as ‘patently false’ and ‘unsubstantiated’ – a response which insiders referred to as ‘galling’.
‘This yr and final yr ladies have complained to CNN administration,’ a supply advised DailyMail.com on the time. ‘There have been complaints about on-air feedback but additionally issues that he is stated off-camera which are degrading, and fully inappropriate within the office… I do know that there are a number of ladies who really feel ignored and unsupported.’
‘After the Nikki Haley episode, tons extra tales got here out of the woodwork,’ the supply added.
In a phase discussing Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, 51, Lemon stated: ‘[She] is not in her prime, sorry. A girl is taken into account to be of their prime in 20s and 30s and possibly 40s’
Issues acquired so dangerous that some ladies have been reportedly refusing to seem on TV alongside him.
CNN declined to touch upon these recent allegations – however now it appears the road has lastly modified.
What comes subsequent for Lemon is anybody’s guess. Although, in a possible signal that he could now search a authorized battle with CNN, it has been reported that he is employed outstanding Hollywood lawyer Bryan Freedman.
In accordance with the New York Instances, Lemon’s contract ran by to 2026, which means he may very well be entitled to tens of millions.
As for the way forward for the community, a senior CNN produicer stated: ‘Nobody is nervous that this may harm scores… Don will likely be changed with somebody who treats everybody, particularly ladies, with respect.’
However the query that certainly stays is: if executives are lastly admitting Lemon was such an issue, why on Earth did it take so lengthy?