Controversial CNN anchor Don Lemon will quietly return to work Wednesday and will receive “formal training” in the aftermath of his nasty and sexist comments about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley.
No news whether MSNBC or ABC News’ The View hosts will face any consequences for their racist comments at Haley.
But there’s one big winner in the whole thing: Haley, who said the media was attacking her because they are scared she could beat President Joe Biden in a 2024 matchup.
Haley needs the national boost. As one of the two official 2024 Republican presidential candidates, she is far behind in the early polls.
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Lemon was suddenly removed from “CNN This Morning” on Friday after saying Haley was not “in her prime” at 51 years old because she was a woman.
Lemon and fellow hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins had been discussing Haley’s suggestion that politicians over 75 should be subject to mandatory mental competency tests.
“Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime, sorry,” Lemon said, explaining why he was “uncomfortable” with the age discussion. “When a woman is considered to be in her prime — in her 20s, 30s and maybe her 40s.”about the ages of politicians he said that the 51-year-old Haley was not “in her prime.”
He was challenged by Harlow, who tired to clarify what Lemon was referencing: “I think we need to qualify. Are you talking about prime for childbearing or are you talking about prime for being president?”
“Don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just saying what the facts are,” Lemon responded. He brought up the subject again an hour later, and was rebutted by commentator Audie Cornish.
“She’s in her prime for running for office,” Cornish said of Haley. “Political prime is what we’re talking about.”
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Lemon issued a statement that same day saying he regretted his “inartful and irrelevant” comments, which were widely condemned.
CNN wasn’t the only network to attack Haley. MSNBC had a guest who called Haley a white supremacist “alpha-Karen with brown skin.”
“To quote Zora Neale Hurston, ‘not all skin-folk are kinfolk.’ Nikki Haley instead is the Dinesh D’Souza of Candace Owens,” said MSNBC guest Wajahat Ali on Sunday. “She’s the alpha-Karen with brown skin. And for white supremacists and racists, she is a perfect Manchurian candidate.”
“I’m just disgusted by people like Nikki Haley who know better,” Ali said, because her father taught at a historically black college.
“What does she do? Like all these model minorities, which by the way, is the strategy of white supremacy — to use Asians in particular — as a cudgel against Black folks,” he claimed. “Instead of pulling us up from the bootstraps, and pulling others from the bootstrap, we’re told to take our boot and put it on the neck of poor browns, immigrants, refugees, and black folks.”
“That’s what she did in her ad. I see her, and I feel sad because she uses her brown skin as a weapon against poor black folks and poor brown folks, and she uses her brown skin to launder white supremacist talking points,” Ali claimed.
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“It will never be enough. They will never love her,” Ali said about conservative voters.
Take a look —
“I see her and I feel sad because she uses her brown skin to launder white supremacist talking points,” @WajahatAli tells @MehdiRHasan about Nikki Haley’s presidential bid strategy and how it falls short. pic.twitter.com/MYNhZfz3ea
— The Mehdi Hasan Show (@MehdiHasanShow) February 20, 2023
Haley blasted the sexist and racist attacks in an appearance on Fox News on Monday.
“I have dealt with this all my life. They can’t stand a conservative minority female not being a Democrat. And so they will continue to throw everything,” Haley said. “When I first won the governorship in South Carolina, it was liberal minority Democrats that said she’s not a minority. She’s just a conservative with a tan.”
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Haley said the attacks were coming because Democrats and their media partners were scared she could win a general election.
“I mean, this is going to continue to happen, but it infuriates them because they know we win independents; they know we win suburban women,” she said. “They know that we win minorities because our solutions lift up everyone, not just a select few.”
Haley said the mainstream media can get away with these vile statements because she’s a conservative — and if the same was said about a Democratic presidential candidate, people would lose their jobs.
“Look at how hypocritical this is. If a Republican had said this about Kamala Harris, if a Republican had said this about any Democrat, they’d be asking for people to be fired,” Haley said.
“You’re not hearing any of that. I mean, [the] first day, it was Whoopi Goldberg; the second day it’s Don Lemon. You know, today The View picks it back up again.”
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“And they’re trying to glorify Dianne Feinstein? And, you know, Maxine Waters, when I say we should have mental competency tests for people over the age of 75? You know, we’ve clearly struck a nerve, but I’ll wear it as a badge of honor,” she said.
The Horn editorial team and the Associated Press contributed to this article