Pretend, for a moment, that you are the morning host for a major news network, and, as your viewers are enjoying their first cups of coffee, you decide to blurt out a comment so sexist, so shockingly stupid, your own co-hosts want to reach across the desk and throttle you.
What do you do next?
Well, if you’re CNN’s Don Lemon, you issue your required “apology” from a $2,000-a-night luxury Miami Beach resort, roll your eyes, and order another Mimosa.
As BizPac Review reported, Lemon lit what’s left of his career on fire this week when he stated presidential candidate Nikki Haley should keep quiet about wanting competency tests for aging politicians because she “isn’t in her prime.”
He knows this because, being the hard-hitting, deep-digging journalist he thinks he is, he Googled it.
‘Google it’: Don Lemon steps in it BIGLY when he argues Nikki Haley, 51, is past a woman’s ‘prime’ https://t.co/dA5jjUTMIe pic.twitter.com/uNqqZODfxZ
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 17, 2023
The backlash was swift and furious.
“I’m just trying to think how fast @donlemon would have lost his sh-t if someone said what he said about Nikki Haley but it was about Hillary Clinton,” on Twitter user wrote.
I'm just trying to think how fast @donlemon would have lost his shit if someone said what he said about Nikki Haley but it was about Hillary Clinton.
— RBe (@RBPundit) February 16, 2023
But he was talking about a Republican woman, so Lemon felt safe.
Until, that is, co-host Poppy Harlow reportedly stormed off the set for a “well-timed” bathroom break.
It was then that he probably realized he was going to have to assuage the peasants and grovel once again for forgiveness.
But, you know, it’s President’s Day weekend, so he can be forgiven if his act of contrition sounded like he was distracted by thoughts of a wicked wave and a great volleyball serve.
He did manage to peck out a “sorry” on Twitter.
“The reference I made to a woman’s ‘prime’ this morning was inartful and irrelevant, as colleagues and loved ones have pointed out, and I regret it,” he wrote. “A woman’s age doesn’t define her either personally or professionally. I have countless women in my life who prove that every day.”
The reference I made to a woman’s “prime” this morning was inartful and irrelevant, as colleagues and loved ones have pointed out, and I regret it. A woman’s age doesn't define her either personally or professionally. I have countless women in my life who prove that every day.
— Don Lemon (@donlemon) February 16, 2023
And then there was the Friday CNN editorial phone conference.
“I’m sorry I don’t mean to hurt anyone. I did not mean to offend anyone,” Lemon said Friday morning, Fox News Digital confirmed. “What I said came out wrong and I wish I hadn’t said it. I believe women of any age can do anything they set their minds to. The people I am closest to in this organization are women.”
“When I make a mistake. I own it and I own this one as well. I understand why you are upset and disappointed,” Lemon continued. “I was trying to make the point that no one’s age should define their ambition or potential for success and I was saying those comments to Nikki Haley.”
Trying, failing… hey! Surf’s up!
And away Lemon went with his partner, Tim Malone, for his planned extended weekend.
But the paparazzi caught up with the couple, and in a video obtained by The Daily Mail, one bluntly asked if Lemon has “trouble working with women.”
Paparazzi? Lemon didn’t dignify him with an answer.
(Video: Daily Mail)
But, as Lemon sunbathed, his colleagues seethed.
“Most pathetic attempt at an apology I have ever heard in my life… It did not go over well,” one CNN insider told Fox News Digital.
The same source called Lemon a “f–king a–hole” for thinking he isn’t sexist because he has female friends.
Indeed, one must wonder what Lemon would think if a white person told him he isn’t racist because he has black friends, or homophobic because he watches Lemon on TV every morning.
Another CNN insider revealed that Lemon is known around the network’s water cooler for being “sexist.”
“Female employees have been frustrated that he has never been reprimanded for a litany of sexist comments,” the source said. “His apology did little to ease those frustrations.”
Even his new boss, CNN CEO Chris Licht, called the comments “upsetting, unacceptable and unfair” to Harlow and co-host Kaitlan Collins.
Licht went on to stress during the editorial call that it is “important to foster a culture of accountability at CNN.”
Which is saying something, considering Licht is being hailed by his colleagues as a “disaster,” according to the New York Post.
It seems CNN staffers are a chatty bunch, Licht failed the “chemistry” test when he dangled more money in front of Lemon and threw him in with Harlow and Collins on “CNN This Morning.”
One insider told The Post the show is “unwatchable.”
“No one agrees with Chris,” the source said. “No one’s talking about the real problem, how [his plan] imploded in the evenings and now the network is a disaster, a complete dumpster fire, with so many people fired, laid-off, and they’re pumping out stories about Don.”
Another source suggested that Lemon just isn’t that smart.
“I think Don got caught up,” the source said. “He’s trying to find his identity on this show, and he was trying to be provocative. No way he believes that, but it was so dumb for him to say it — even if he thought he was trying to make some point.”
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