Bloodlust: CNN's firing of Jeffrey Lord brings out the worst in the left
On Friday, the day after conservative author Jeffrey Lord was fired from his on-air commentator job at CNN, it was a field day for analysts on both ends of the political spectrum. Most of the comments came from the left since leftist publications, websites, and talking heads seem to outnumber ones on the right by a ratio of at least ten to one.
In a number of published interviews, Lord was able to clarify and add more context to his tweeting "Sieg Heil!" to Media Matters president Andrew Carusone in a heated online exchange – a tweet heard 'round the world that resulted in Lord's firing by CNN, which has employed him for the past two years. On Thursday afternoon, CNN said it was letting Lord go because "Nazi salutes are indefensible." Lord explained to Vox, and to many other publications and broadcast outlets, that:
CNN had gotten the story backward – that he was mocking Nazi salutes, not embracing them.
"I was saying they were fascists modeling themselves after Nazis," Lord said of Media Matters.
Media Matters has been joining forces with other radical left-wing groups to encourage advertiser boycotts of conservative shows, most recently Sean Hannity's on Fox News, in the hope that these programs will be canceled. Lord and others, mostly on the right, see these moves as dangerous attempts to curtail free speech and silence conservatives.
In combing through an avalanche of articles about Lord's firing, some interesting tidbits could be found. For example, in the Daily Beast, Lloyd Grove wrote, "Some Insiders 'Elated' as CNN Sacks Jeffrey Lord." Grove revealed that months ago, both CNN prime-time host Don Lemon and morning show co-host Chris Cuomo had already banned Lord from their programs. Lord's main platform in recent weeks was Anderson Cooper's nightly show AC360. But Cooper often used Lord as a foil, as when he said to Lord on May 19, the clip of which went viral, "If [Trump] took a dump on his desk, you would defend him."
The most vicious post-firing leftist attack on Lord that I could find was published in Slate, in an article by Justin Peters:
Jeffrey Lord is a political hack and shameless troll who spent the past two years wasting America's time on CNN as one of the world's dumbest and most slavishly pro-Trump pundits. He appeared regularly on CNN's political programming as one of Donald Trump's chief water-bearers, playing the part so well that Anderson Cooper once felt compelled to note – on air! – that Trump could defecate on his desk and Lord would defend it. Cooper's crude observation was wholly accurate: Lord's only qualifications for being on television were his readiness to applaud even Trump's most noxious moments and the fact that he already owned a suit.
Jeffrey Lord and his mother Kit at home in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 2016.
Lord, who lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he writes articles for the American Spectator and cares for his 98-year-old mother Kit, did not criticize his former employer, where he has worked since 2015. "I want to emphasize that I love CNN," Lord told Vox and every other publication that interviewed him. "And I have a lot of respect for Jeff Zucker and all the people there."
CNN leftist commentator Van Jones, who often sparred with Lord on CNN panels, had nothing but good things to say about his colleague in an AP story last October 1.
You don't have to agree with someone to like them and care about them and appreciate what they're trying to convey. I think Jeffrey Lord is doing a great service to the country by speaking up for people whose opinions and voices are usually not welcome in mainstream conversations. These voices need to be heard. These conversations need to be had[.] ... We get along great[.] ... Jeffrey Lord is universally beloved at CNN as a person.
Lord commented to numerous outlets that he had two jobs offers within hours of his firing. A book deal is probably also in his future. It was also reported that he took a call from White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon.
Kayleigh McEnany on Hannity, Fox News Channel, August 11, 2017.
Meanwhile, another – or I should say the other – spirited defender on CNN of Donald Trump, when he was a candidate and then president, who had achieved a prominent on-air profile during the past two years, Kayleigh McEnany, left the channel one week ago to become the chief spokesperson for the Republican National Committee on television and radio. In that role, McEnany, who received a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 2016, appeared as a guest on Hannity on Fox News, August 11, the program guest-hosted that night by attorney, former judge, and Fox News Channel host Jeanine Pirro.
Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran journalist who writes about national politics, media, popular culture, and health care. He is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. His latest website is AltMedNews.net.