CNN’s firing of Jeffrey Lord is a bigger deal than you think

CNN fired on-air commentator Jeffrey Lord today after he tweeted “Sieg Heil” at someone he was warring with on Twitter. Considering that he was a shameless Donald Trump cheerleader who never once said anything insightful during his entire tenure, the immediate question that comes to mind is why he was ever hired to begin with. But the circumstances of today’s firing suggest that CNN has wanted to dump Lord for awhile now.

What Jeffrey Lord did today was hideous, and it should have gotten him fired. But because Lord was technically using the phrase to accuse someone else of being a Nazi by putting the words “Sieg Heil” in that person’s mouth, rather than putting the words in his own mouth, there would have been a way for CNN to try to minimize this and allow Lord to walk it back. Instead the network immediately fired him, without even bothering to try to see if damage control could work. That suggests CNN has been eagerly waiting for the opportunity to dump him.

CNN’s only motivation for wanting to get rid of Lord is that he must have become a drag on ratings. He’s only ever been there to give Trump’s thoughtless base a voice in panel discussions that otherwise consist of thoughtful liberals and thoughtful conservatives who all agree Trump is an obvious fraud. Anecdotally, I hear from people across the political spectrum who say that they change the channel away from CNN the minute Jeff Lord starts talking. But at some point CNN must have made the calculation that having an idiot like Lord on the air would bring them more total viewers each night than not having him on the air, or else they wouldn’t have hired him.

And then more recently that calculation must have changed, because wow was CNN in a hurry to get rid of Lord today, the minute he gave them an easy out. This suggests this his on-air draw has been shrinking. And it at least vaguely points to a shift in overall public sentiment when it comes to idiotic Trump cheerleading. This also comes shortly after CNN parted ways with another idiot Trump cheerleader, Kayleigh McEnany.

Of course CNN could have fired Jeffrey Lord at any time. But the network is run by cowards who probably didn’t want to face the wrath of Trump’s base by firing his most notorious cheerleader. So it waited until he slipped up, and then it immediately threw him overboard. And now we know that there’s less public interest in hearing from an on-air Trump apologist than there used to be.

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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report