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Hidden Texts From Don Lemon Discovered, More Misogyny Could End His Career

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


CNN anchor Don Lemon may have taken a step closer to his exit from the network as new misogyny from him has been discovered.

When Lemon was cohosting a show on CNN named “Live From” with Kyra Phillips, there was tension between the two of them. There were some occasions when a producer from the show had to take Lemon off during a commercial break because he was provoking his cohost.

Variety reported:

Amid the charged atmosphere, sources say Lemon disrespected colleague Nancy Grace on the air and Soledad O’Brien during an editorial meeting attended by roughly 30 staffers.

But his antipathy toward Phillips was particularly concerning and had many members of the close-knit Atlanta news team on edge. While Phillips was on assignment in Iraq — a high-profile gig that Lemon coveted — he vented his disappointment at being passed over by tearing up pictures and notes on top of and inside Phillips’ desk in the news pod they shared, according to two sources who worked there at the time. When she returned from Iraq, things only got weirder. One night while dining with members of the news team, she received the first of two threatening text messages from an unknown number on her flip phone that warned, “Now you’ve crossed the line, and you’re going to pay for it.” Phillips was visibly rattled and quickly enlisted CNN’s higher ups to identify the sender.

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Remarkably, the texts were traced back to Lemon, according to those same sources. A human resources investigation was launched, and while the findings were never disclosed to the growing pool of staffers who were aware of the situation, Lemon was abruptly pulled from his co-anchor duties with Phillips and moved to the weekends. It was a demotion by any objective measure and understood to be some kind of disciplinary action. It appears to be the last time he was paired with a female anchor until his most recent assignment on “CNN This Morning With Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow, and Kaitlan Collins.” 

“Don says the alleged incident never occurred and that he was never notified of any investigation. CNN cannot corroborate the alleged events from 15 years ago,” a CNN spokesperson said.

Lemon was demoted from his own primetime show to an ensemble cast and the only next step for him would be his exit from the network. The newest iteration of CNN’s morning show, “CNN This Morning,” hosted by Lemon, Poppy Harlow, and Kaitlan Collins is the lowest-rated CNN morning show of any in its history.

CNN has long failed to keep pace with its cable news competitors Fox News and MSNBC during the morning hours. But it hasn’t been this bad in quite some time. The revamped program with Lemon is the network’s lowest-rated morning show iteration in nearly a decade.

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“Since its Nov. 1, 2022 launch, “CNN This Morning” — hosted by Don Lemon, Poppy Harlow, and Kaitlan Collins — has drawn in the lowest viewership among adults 25-54, the key demographic for cable news, and the second-lowest total viewership among each iteration of the network’s morning programming since ‘New Day’ was launched in June 2013, according to Nielsen data,” the outlet comments.

Specifically, Lemon has sunk total viewership of 16.2% compared to the most recent iteration of “New Day. In the demo, viewership has decreased by 21% with the show’s first three months on-air.

And this news comes after it was reported that Lemon berated one of his cohosts off the air.

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Lemon appears to have gone even further with his rage following an off-the-air incident with morning show co-host Kaitlin Collins.

According to a recent report from the New York Post, several sources said that Lemon “screamed” at Collins following an on-air incident on the set of “CNN This Morning,” with tensions continuing to rise as the show tanks and as Lemon, apparently, is unhappy sharing on-air duties with Collins and fellow co-host Poppy Harlow.

The Post noted: “According to two sources with knowledge of the situation, the 56-year-old Lemon approached 30-year-old Collins following the show’s Thursday, Dec. 8 broadcast — and unloaded on her in front of staffers as he accused her of interrupting him on air. News of the explosive incident made its way up to CNN CEO Chris Licht, who is said to have been appalled by Lemon’s behavior, according to a source. A second source said a producer talked to Lemon at the behest of Licht and told the anchor to take the next day off to ‘cool off.'”

“Don screamed at Kaitlan, who was visibly upset and ran out of the studio,” one source with knowledge of the incident told The Post.

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