Minutes after CNN reported the news that Fox had parted ways with controversial host Tucker Carlson, came a tweet from CNN morning anchor Don Lemon that he had been fired as well. A terse news release from Fox said the Carlson departure was a “mutual decision” but it comes less than a week after Fox agreed to pay almost $800 million in a defamation settlement with Dominion voting systems. During the discovery phase of the Dominion-Fox lawsuit, emails surfaced which had Carlson admitting to the legitimacy of the defeat of Donald Trump, even though he promoted the “election fraud” theme in his show, and quoted him as saying he “hated” Donald Trump. Carlson’s prime time show was Fox’s highest-rated show at the time of his dismissal and consistently hammered away with pro-Trump, anti-immigration, anti-abortion and other populist and right wing themes. Carlson’s positions on controversial issues often caused advertisers to boycott his show despite its high ratings.
Don Lemon who hosted a 10 PM prime time show with CNN for several years had been switched to a morning show last fall, in what some observers saw as a demotion. In December 2022, Lemon was involved in an onscreen argument with co-anchors Collins and Harlow over the pay inequity in womens’ sports. Lemon argued that “people are more interested in the men.” On February 19, 2023, after Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign announcement, Lemon stated that Haley “isn’t in her prime” and that a woman is “considered to be in her prime in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.” That comment earned him a two-day suspension. Then earlier this month, Variety published a report alleging that Lemon had a history of misogynistic behavior towards his colleagues, including Soledad O’Brien, Kyra Phillips and Nancy Grace, dating back to 2008. Earlier today after completing his on-air shift Lemon announced that he had been fired, the news being conveyed through his agent.
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