In a purging of corporate media pundits and talking heads, earlier this week Fox News fired Tucker Carlson and CNN fired long-time host Don Lemon. The departures left the public’s head spinning, given that Carlson and Lemon had been the public faces of Fox News and CNN, respectively. Lemon’s firing may have been in the works for a while after (1) Lemon’s ratings on his prime time show in CNN plummeted badly, making him and CNN irrelevant, (2) his demotion to a morning show (CNN This Morning) alongside Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins, and (3) several gaffes on CNN This Morning that left CNN embarrassed and alienating its core base of white folks in middle America.
This morning Harlow and Collins address Lemon’s departure, wish him well and simultaneously sneak diss Don:h
Harlow And Collins: “As you may have heard yesterday CNN parted ways with anchor Don Lemon. In a statement CNN CEO Chris Licht thanked Don for his contributions over the past 17 years, writing in part, ‘Don will forever be a part of the CNN family. We wish him well and will be cheering him on in his future endeavors.'”
Shock Exchange: Interpretation: Harlow and Collins addressed the pink elephant in the room by acknowledging Lemon’s departure. They also big upped Chris Licht, their ultimate boss, giving prime time coverage to someone who the country does not know or even care about. Though it was a waste of air time, it did ingratiate Harlow and Collins with their boss and showed a mastery in office politics. Lemon’s time sandwiched between two ambitious white women lasted a whole six months. They are the biggest beneficiaries of Lemon’s departure and likely hastened it.
Harlow And Collins: “Don was a big part of this show over the last six months. ‘He was one of the first anchors on CNN to have me on his show. That’s obviously something I will never forget.’ ‘Don was one of my first friends here at CNN. I’m so thankful to have worked alongside him and his support for nearly 15 years …'”
Shock Exchange Interpretation: What Harlow and Collins were thinking when they made these gratuities was, “They know … they know.” Yeah, we do know how you back stabbed Don.
Harlow and Collins: “Kaitlin and I are really proud of this show. We are so proud of the dedicated team that works around the clock to bring you news every morning and our priority is you, the viewer …”
Shock Exchange Interpretation: “We are so proud of this show, despite Don Lemon’s gaffes backhanded attempts to sabotage CNN This Morning with his presence.” The perfect sneak diss …
After all, it was Harlow grimacing in the background amid the tete-a-tete between Lemon and Vivek Ramaswamy last week. Watch Harlow’s body language at the 1:27 mark of the video and watch her grab her phone at the 1:35 mark.
Vivek Ramaswamy was making a bad faith argument, but he was making it in white space. Lemon was right in making his point, but wrong for making it in this environment. You could not pay the Shock Exchange to work anywhere near Harlow and Collins with Chris Licht lurking in the background as the boss.