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Is Don Lemon a Dead Man Walking at CNN?

AP Photo/Ron Harris

The drama unfolding behind the scenes of CNN’s This Morning program continues after co-host Don Lemon set off a firestorm regarding sexist remarks lobbed against former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who recently announced her 2024 run for president. He claimed Haley was not in her prime, reportedly leading to co-host Poppy Harlow walking off the set. Lemon made the atmosphere tense when he allegedly ripped into Kaitlin Collins, another host, off-camera for interrupting him.


CEO Chris Licht is said to have benched Lemon after the Haley tirade, which led to him issuing an apology of sorts on an editorial call that many viewed as woefully insufficient. The man doesn’t like this slot, he’s still salty over losing his primetime slot, but he won’t be shown the door over this flap. Lemon will instead undergo retraining at nearly 60 years of age. I’d rather be fired than endure this undeniably humiliating punishment. As Lemon becomes something of a “dead man walking” at the network, he’s also left with no defenders left among the halls at CNN (via NY Post): 

Embattled CNN anchor Don Lemon has “zero defenders” left at the network source said, as it remains unclear whether he’ll be back on air Tuesday, sources told Page Six. 

Lemon, 56, who has co-hosted “CNN This Morning” since its debut last November, is embroiled in a sexist scandal that’s threatening his future at the network. 

“The big question is, is CNN going to keep Don off air on a day-to-day basis?” said one well-placed industry insider. “If they wanted to keep him, they would suspend him for two weeks and call it a day.” 

Lemon missed Friday and Monday’s shows after he said on-air last week that GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley, 51, “isn’t in her prime.” Now, CNN staffers are waiting for the anchor schedule to be released Monday evening to find out who is hosting Tuesday, Page Six is told. 


“The outrage, internally, has not died down,” said the insider. “People are upset. He gave the worst apology ever and instead of going to the Hamptons to sit it out quietly, he went to Miami, stayed at a chi-chi hotel and got his photo taken. 


On its face, it might appear that CNN would fare better if they just cut ties with their longtime host who isn’t happy sharing the spotlight. The problem is what Lemon would do if he’s cut loose. He has a penchant for drama. Better keep that bottled up by letting him stay employed than risk him taking to social media to spill more on the matter. Also, we all know he’s going to say something offensive again soon.

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