Popular podcaster Megyn Kelly, formerly with Fox News, mocked CNN host Don Lemon’s transition from a host of his own show to a co-host of another show.
Speaking on Tuesday with Newsmax host Eric Bolling, also formerly with Fox News, she zeroed in on the idea that Lemon’s been promoted versus demoted.
“It’s such a joke. I love it. All I could think of when he got booted out of his own show with his name on it in the primetime down to the morning — where he has two other co-hosts sitting there next to him of equal importance — and said it’s a promotion was sure, Jan,” she said, referencing the infamous “Brady Bunch” line.
As previously reported, in late September CNN announced that Lemon’s “Don Lemon Tonight” was cancelled and that the host would henceforth be co-hosting a brand new morning show alongside Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.
In a statement at the time, Lemon framed this development as a good thing.
“The last eight years have been an incredible ride. I’ve had the opportunity to work with one of the best show teams in the business, but it’s time to shake things up. I am so appreciative of the ‘Don Lemon Tonight’ team, my wonderful, loyal viewers and everyone who has believed in me,” he said.
“I was honestly floored when Chris Licht asked me to do this and I’m honored by his belief in me. It’s going to be a thrill to take on this challenge with Poppy and Kaitlan. I’ll get to work with two of my dearest friends. Set your alarms folks, because we’re going to have a lot of fun.”
Likewise, speaking on air at the time, he pushed back on the idea from his critics that he’d been demoted.
“I was presented with an opportunity that I can’t pass up at this network, and I am honored that he asked me to do it. And for all of those out there saying oh, he moved me and without my permission, he asked me, and I said yes. I could have said no. But I was not demoted. None of that. This is an opportunity. This is a promotion,” he said.
Speaking on her own podcast at the time, Kelly ruthlessly mocked him.
“Don Lemon is in the news because he’s been booted off of his prime time show. Shocking with the ratings he was pulling in. He’s been booted off as his primetime show. They couldn’t fire the guy, so they turfed him to the morning, which is oblivion in cable news, right. Unless you’re ‘Fox & Friends,’ you got nothing going on. ‘Morning Joe,’ nothing going on,” she said.
“Certainly CNN has absolutely nothing going on. Never has. So they turfed him to the morning show where he’s gotten two co-hosts. Not one, but two co-hosts. So let me just tell you for the record, when you go from solo anchoring your own prime time show to the early morning where you have two other anchors, it’s not a good day. That’s not a good thing, but you would not know that if you heard Don Lemon talking about his new big move, because according to him, this is a promotion.”
Continuing her remarks to Bolling, the popular podcaster also took a stab at disgraced former CNN honest Chris Cuomo, who was “bounced” from the network late last year because of how he’d used his position at CNN to help his brother.
“Dishonest, unethical man. That’s really why Cuomo got bounced. It wasn’t about like people say, oh he helped his brother. You could help your brother,” she said of the former CNN honest.
“You could say my brother’s in a pickle, I need to take a three-month leave of absence from this job because I’m gonna go be a partisan and a brother instead of a news anchor who’s coming on the air every night saying these issues are very important to me and always have been. The me too stuff. Meanwhile, behind the scenes he’s like [Kelly made a stabbing motion] to the women who are accusing his brother, trying to use his CNN context to smear them,” she added.
That being said, she did express optimism that Jake Tapper, who’s been rescheduled into Cuomo’s slot, will be a bit less biased than his predecessor, though she stressed that one individual man performing well won’t be enough to make CNN, as a whole, watchable.
“Tapper, I think, has a much better chance of being fair. I’d much rather see Tapper in that role than Cuomo, so that’s a start. So I don’t know, we’ll see. But Tapper himself cannot turn around the problems at CNN, and he won’t,” she said.
As the discussion with Bolling wound down, the Newsmax host then asked her whether CNN’s attempt to rebrand itself as a centrist network is working.
“Do you think they have a shot? Meanwhile, MSNBC’s not really pivoting at all. They’re staying hard, hardcore left,” he said.
“No. What viewer would, that turned off CNN because they got two partisan, would say all right I’ll meander back over you know,” Kelly replied.
“There’s really no place to stop of any reason over there. Again, you mentioned the one guy who I like, who’s Tapper, who I think he’s not a big Trump fan, but I think he’s the closest thing to fair they have. But I don’t really think he wants to stay in the primetime. I think he’s got a family that he’d like to see,” she said.
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