Tucker Carlson, of all people, is weighing in on Don Lemon’s latest professional strife, which has seen the “CNN This Morning” anchor in hot water after making ageist comments against 51-year-old Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley.
“Don Lemon is dumb and kinda crazy – but he’s always been and that’s sort of the appeal,” Carlson argued in Monday’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” somewhat running to the defense of the journalist he’s long locked horns with. “So if you put someone who’s dumb and kinda crazy on TV, you expect them to say dumb and kinda crazy things. And like, that’s hilarious.”
“What was his crime, exactly?” Carlson questioned.
To recap that “crime,” in a morning discussion last Thursday with “CNN This Morning” co-anchors Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins, Lemon remarked that Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley “is not in her prime,” and when challenged added that a woman is “said to be in her prime in her 20s, 30s and maybe 40s.” According to multiple reports, his co-anchors were furious, as was Licht.
In the days that followed, a “gutted” Lemon extended his vacation and took off Monday and Tuesday. News broke Monday night that he is due to return to his post on Wednesday and has agreed to participate in “formal training,” per CNN CEO Chris Licht.
“It is important to me that CNN balances accountability with fostering a culture in which people can own, learn and grow from their mistakes,” Licht said in a statement.
Carlson’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight” report aired prior to the announcement of Lemon’s imminent return and balanced a gleeful-but-questioning tone to the speculation that the embattled anchor’s career was “over.”
“The bottom line is it looks like it’s over for Don Lemon, who was not on the air today – which is bad if you’re a TV host,” Carlson said.
“No offense to the ladies on the set,” he added, “but let’s be honest: Are we gonna kinda miss Don Lemon if he’s fired? Yeah, a little bit!”
Watch the full “Tucker Carlson Tonight” segment in the video above.