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Don Lemon Out at CNN … Tucker Carlson Booted from FOX … Both Good Moves

Don Lemon Out at CNN … Tucker Carlson Booted from FOX … Both Good Moves

Don Lemon

I recently finished a commentary as to why Don Lemon should be canned by CNN. It was entitled “Time for Don Lemon to go.”  Ironically, he was canned before the commentary appeared here.  In view of the firing of Tucker Carlson, I have decided to address them both in one commentary – incorporating the unpublished article on Don Lemon.  

“I have been monitoring CNN since the news company was purchased by David Zaslav.  At the time, he expressed a determination to stop the network’s rating decline by moving it away from its leftwing ideological bias – returning it to traditional journalistic standards.

Zaslav made a lot of correct moves early on.  He dropped so-called media critic Brian Stelter – who misused his job description to present radical leftwing commentaries.  Also canned was White House reporter John Harwood – who did more leftwing editorializing than reporting.  The very biased morning team of John Berman and Brianna Keilar were demoted to less visible responsibilities.

To replace the Berman/Keilar team, CNN took Don Lemon out of the prestige of his own nighttime show and teamed him up with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins as the new morning show triumvirate. At the time, I called Lemon’s reassignment a bad move if CNN was truly moving to the center.

Lemon also created a problem for CNN when he made sexist remarks about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley.  

Weeell … I think I was right.  Lemon just cannot give up his editorial license to spew personal opinions – or contain his arrogance.  There have been a series of minor but noteworthy examples – from argumentativeness with more conservative guests to snide remarks and disdaining facial expressions.  He has a personality conflict with Collins — one that brewed over as a gossip tabloid item not long ago.

In a recent interview with Vivek Ramaswamy — one of the Republican candidates for President – Lemon lost it (again).  He turned what was intended to be an informative discussion of issues into racist contretemps.  When Ramaswamy pointed out that gun ownership was among the rights that were granted to Blacks as a result of the Civil War – but denied to them by Democrat administrations in the old Confederacy – Lemon went ballistic. 

Lemon said he did not agree with Ramaswamy … then said his guest was wrong … and finally called him a liar.

Lemon took the racist view that as a Black man, he is more qualified to speak to Black issues and Black history.  Lemon said that “as a Black man,” he was insulted by Ramaswamy’s argument – and accused the candidate of insulting all Black people.  

In fact, it was Lemon’s limited knowledge of Black history that was the problem.  He lumped the era of Reconstruction – when freed slaves enjoyed Constitutional freedoms in the South – with the post-1877 era when Democrats violently took over the southern states and denied Blacks their constitutional rights for the next 100 years.

Lemon took up so much time in the interview that there was no time to cover the issues Ramaswamy came on camera to discuss.  It was so obvious that in ending the interview, Harlow apologized to Ramaswamy and promised to bring him back in the future to talk about other issues, including China.

If CNN wants to regain a reputation for unbiased reporting, the network will have to address its “Don Lemon problem.”  Basically, he has to go.”

And now he is gone.  Now I am hoping that CNN will eliminate Jim Acosta from the weekend programming.

Tucker Carlson

I know that some readers will take exception to my positive reaction to the firing of Tucker Carlson from his primetime perch at FOX News.  They should not be surprised.  In a number of commentaries over the recent years, I have expressed my dislike for Carlson.  I did not like him when he was doing guest shots on “FOX and Friends.”  I thought giving him the top spot in the daily lineup was a bad decision – replacing Bill O’Reilly.

I never liked Carlson’s style.  I found him to be condescending and arrogant.  His mocking laugh grated on me.  It was not just style, however.  I had substantive issue disagreements with him – of two varieties. 

First, there are those issues on which we genuinely disagreed.   The most notable and most current one has been his opposition to supporting Ukraine against an unwarranted and unlawful invasion by Putin —  and the subsequent war crimes.  I am a total hawk on the issue of Ukraine. 

I believe it is in America’s existential interest to defeat Putin and restore the official borders of Ukraine.  That means forcing Russia out of eastern Ukraine – including the Crimea.

Like President Trump, Carlson has a disturbing admiration for Vladimir Putin.  I see him as another Adolph Hitler – a messianic madman obsessed with conquest and capable of unimaginable ruthlessness and cruelty.  I recall criticizing Carlson for defending Putin because the Russian despot did not do anything to him personally, I mean … really?  That is contemptibly stupid.

I am not surprised that Carlson would play to Trump and the hardline supporters on camera and offer a significantly different opinion of the forty-fifth President in private – at one point referring to Trump as a demon.  I am surprised, however, that Carlson would allow his hypocrisy to be captured on permanent media – emails and text messages.

That is not to say that Carlson is a fool.  No.  No.  No.  You do not acquire and hold the largest audience in cable news by being a fool.  He was selling a product – controversial commentary.   While his 3 million viewers swamp the competition, it is still less than one percent of the American public.  He found a subset responsive to his alarming and too often irrational commentaries.

Carlson benefited from the time slot.  He had the best time slot in the entire FOX line-up.  His successor will do very well in that position after a period of adjustment – regardless of who it will be.  The great American middle class has made FOX the number one cable news network.  A change of host in that primo time slot should not change things too much.  Carlson viewers are not about to switch over to CNN or MSNBC.

While FOX management gave the obligatory statement that the “departure” was mutual, it was most certainly a firing – and a sudden one, at that.  Carlson closed of his Friday show with, “We’ll be back on Monday.”  Even Carlson had no idea that Friday was his last show.  That was a brutal dismissal – but what can one expect after dissing the bosses with locker room language – not to mention costing the network $780 million dollars?  

I compliment both CNN and FOX News for making a tough – but good – decision in removing two of the biggest names in cable television.  If only MSNBC would impose the same standard of professional journalism.  But then … they would be off the air.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Americafirst

    You need mental help, Larry. So there t’is. Your condensing attitude about another human being just earned you the same that you dished out!. I think you should be fired until you come to your senses. I now believe you are a Communist and will never change my mind. You are in for a real shock in the near future because you don’t believe in kindness. I usually do; however, I made an exception here. What you said is likely to spread to other people that loved your column. Hate breeds hate, but love breeds love. I see no love here. Goodbye to your dictatorship!

    • larry Horist

      Americafirst …. Calling me a Communist is laughable. I am sorry that you cannot abide anyone not like Tucker Carlson. If you think praising Putin is conservative Americanism, you do not know what conservatives values are. By priority, I am a solid conservatives first…. a Republican second, because that is the only party in which I can advance conservative values. But not every Republican puts conservative values first. And there are Republican who I do not respect because of their personalities and positions. I have been especially hard on some of my former conservatives friends — such as joe Walsh, Bill Kristol, Michael Steele and others — who let Trump hatred cause abandoning conservative values to join the other side. I suggest to read more of the words of out Founders to get a better insight to my core conservative values. As far as what I write… I get fans and i get critics. It goes with the turf. You and I probably agree on most of the critical issues, but over a meaningless disagreement over one personality, you want to take up arms. I never understood that sort of logic. I love my family and even we disagree on some issues.

      • frank stetson

        +1 Larry. I was laughing before you hit the keyboard to respond.

  2. Tom

    Larry, I never watched Mr. Lemon but I did watch a few segments of Mr. Carlson. Their firing was brutal, but my understanding is that this is the way the new media cookie crumbles. As you know, Bill O’Reilly has some experience with FOX firings. He had an interesting perspective on three reasons why Tucker was fired. One of the reasons has to do with other law suits pending against Tucker. The pain is only beginning for FOX. It’s about a five-minute view at *,vid:R_8SEODqQA8*

    By the way, I thought this was a good article. You were a prophet regarding Lemon. What really caught my eye was your observations about others that you do not see in yourself.

    You said about Mr. Lemon the following:
    “Lemon just cannot give up his editorial license to spew personal opinions – or contain his arrogance. There have been a series of minor but noteworthy examples – from argumentativeness with more conservative guests to snide remarks and disdaining facial expressions.”

    You said about Mr. Carlson the following:
    I found him to be condescending and arrogant. His mocking laugh grated on me.

    You replied to a comment by Tom in the same manner.
    Tom replied to your blog, “AI Rats on Itself” that he did not care about the issue and preferred to watch his money roll in.” He was not attacking you, and did not even mention you, nor was it a hostile response.. He was just expressing his opinion, something he is entitled to do. Tom even gave you a chance to apologize later, and you did not respond, and then you doubled down by defending your rant and expecting an apology from Tom.

    And this was your response by publicly shaming :

    “Tom … You selfish and heartless disregard for future generations is breath-taking. My entire reason for being is to provide a better world for my children and grandchildren — and yours too. I have often criticized our generation as the greediest in history — having consumed more natural and financial recourses than any generation in the history of the world. We have used massive debt to feather our nests and stuck the kids with the bill for generations to come. Your post typifies that sad reality. As long as your money rolls in, you could care less. Shame on you.

    And this is how you respond to Frank in several discussion on the AI topic:

    1) And I would be careful in saying someone “sounds stupid” when you are doubling down on being stupid. 2) You are not educable. 3) Frank Stetson … are you just trying to double down on your losing argument or do you really not understand AI? 4) Frank Stetson …. When Tom said that you had experience with AI, you properly corrected him. Since then you have repeatedly proven your inexperience and lack of knowledge. Game. Set. Match.

    So Larry, I want to ask you a question in the spirit of teaching us about you: How is what you said about Mr. Lemon and Mr. Carlson (above) any different than what you said to Tom and Frank (also above), two of your most loyal fans?

  3. Frank stetson

    Lemon could be brutal even when right.

    I only watched once.but think I caught one of his worst Trump rants. Think I looked like I was in shock. I was.

    • Tom

      Yeah I do not have any knowledge of Lemon. I watched one clip of him where he was a bit like a Doberman that had its teeth locked into a juicy steak. I did not finish the clip, couldn’t stand the rudeness. I was a little more familiar with Carlson. I have not watched FOX in years because I felt my independence was being threatened to be pulled too much to the right. I stopped around the time O’Reilly got the boot. Even O’Reilly who claimed to be fair and balanced was not. He tilted the field by pitting a strong right against a moderate to weak left, then orchestrating the conversation in the direction of the right. Once and a while he would have a left that would stand up to him. I do remember Tucker and some of his segments which I thought were sometimes pretty good and then sometimes missing the mark and a bit wierd, especially some of the comparisons he would draw upon. And I did feel like he talked down to his audience a little bit. So for me, the whole thing with Mr. Lemon and Mr. Carlson is a bit ho hum, yawn, may I have another burger please!

      I thought O’Reilly’s five minute segment I posted was interesting. It may be too late to sell your FOX stock if you have any.

      I watched a segment reviewing Jerry Springer’s career yesterday. I never watched Jerry but remember his name. Amazingly, the first thought I had was this is who Tucker needs to study with regard to how he made it big and influenced so many. I realize Jerry and Tucker may be on opposite ends of the spectrum, but studying the mechanics of how Jerry did it might work well for Tucker. This is where I see him going, Jerry Springer style or Rush style radio and/or tv.

      • Tom

        And I also see Tucker on the lecture circuit. Right wing and Catholics will gobble him up in mass quantities. Good for them. Everyone needs a hero.

        • larry Horist

          Tom … Every fallen media personality fails to reclaim anything near their popularity. Beck, O’Reilly, Cuomo, Lauer, Williams Halperin, Toobin and others. None came close to the following they had. I think Carlson and Lemon will have the same fate. that is because at least have their popularity is based on the platform and time slot. I expect FOX will recoup from the rating drop in the Carlson time slot. It will take time, however.

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