Nikki Haley hailed CNN’s decision to fire Don Lemon on Monday as a “great day for women everywhere” while SiriusXM host Megyn Kelly blasted the network for allegedly not informing him directly that he was being terminated.
Haley, the 51-year-old GOP presidential candidate whom Lemon referred to as “not in her prime” during a February broadcast of “CNN This Morning,” posted a tweet which included a graphic representing two cans of lemonade.
One of the cans was covered with a koozie that read “Past My Prime?” while another read “Hold My Beer.”
Kelly, who learned of Lemon’s departure from CNN during her own broadcast Monday afternoon, said: “Oh my God. Am I still employed myself?”
Kelly, a vocal critic of Lemon, nonetheless sympathized with the fired anchor.
“He’s [Lemon] not wrong,” Kelly said.
“I mean, everybody knows I’m not exactly Don Lemon’s fan, but he’s not wrong that — if that’s true, that he was just told by his agent he was fired, and they didn’t have the balls to tell him man to man — that’s just classless.”
“He’s got a right to complain about that … Something must’ve happened here … There must have been something like a final straw,” Kelly said.
Lemon tweeted that CNN terminated him without letting him know.
“I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN. I am stunned,” Lemon said.
“After 17 years at CNN, I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly. At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network,” he added.
CNN released a statement that read: “Don Lemon’s statement about this morning’s events is inaccurate. He was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter.”
Kelly’s guest on her Monday show, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald, wondered whether Lemon failed his “re-education camp” — a reference to the sensitivity training that the anchor was forced to undergo by the network after his Haley comments.
“Even with a gigantic CNN brand behind him, just people don’t want to see or care about or listen to Don Lemon,” Greenwald said.
“The thing about it is … his anger and just like, bitterness and resentment with his colleagues and just in life, is so palpable.”
Greenwald added: “Like you could just tell he’s so angry when he has to wait for his co-host to get done with their questions.”
“He really feels like all the attention should be on him.”
The Babylon Bee, a satirical, right-leaning news outlet, tweeted: “Sad: CNN Fires Don Lemon After Realizing He’s Past His Prime.”
Clay Travis of the sports news site Outkick indirectly referenced Tucker Carlson’s exit from Fox News, which was announced less than hour before Lemon tweeted about his own ouster.
“Don Lemon has been fired. Wild day in media,” Travis tweeted.
The National Rifle Association posted a tweet that included a clip of Lemon’s on-air argument with GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy on Wednesday’s broadcast of “CNN This Morning.”
The NRA tweet referred to Lemon’s “unhinged breakdown” after he and Ramaswamy engaged in a heated exchange over the Second Amendment and its role in the civil rights movement.
“Black people secured their freedoms after the Civil War — and it’s a historical fact, Don, just study it — only after their Second Amendment rights were secured,” Ramaswamy told Lemon.
Lemon shot back: “The whole reason that the civil rights movement happened was because black people did not secure their freedoms after the Civil War.”
“When you are in black skin and you live in this country, then you can disagree with me,” Lemon told Ramaswamy.
Lemon’s ouster ends a whirlwind half-year during which the anchor sparked outrage with his sexist remarks about Haley and berated co-host Kaitlan Collins in front of other staffers.
A Variety magazine report also detailed several alleged instances of misogynistic behavior by Lemon during his nearly two decades at the all-news cable channel.