Ever since the New York Post reported that CNN This Morning host Don Lemon “screamed” at his co-host Kaitlan Collins in front of staffers for interrupting him on-air, the two have not anchored together in the same studio. CNN has pushed back but not outright dismissed the claims, and – if Tuesday’s broadcast is any indication – distancing the anchors does not seem to be working as intended.
During the show, Collins interviewed Rep. James Comer (R-KY), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, in Washington, DC. The congressman cited the New York Post at one point, which apparently didn’t sit well with Lemon. After the interview wrapped, Lemon chastised his colleague for not challenging Rep. Comer’s Post reference.
On Tuesday’s episode of The Megyn Kelly Show, Megyn and the hosts of The Fifth Column – Michael Moynihan, Kmele Foster, and Matt Welch – broke down the drama and discussed what disciplinary action Lemon should face for his behavior.
Don Lemon’s Latest Meltdown
All seemed to be well has Collins wrapped up her interview with Rep. Comer and tossed back to the New York City studio where fellow anchor Poppy Harlow and Lemon were anchoring from. But it didn’t take long for things to go south.
Collins was still visible on screen when Lemon’s lashing began. “Citing the New York Post as a credible source and saying that facts are – it’s just, I can’t believe that we’re here,” he huffed. Harlow tried to smooth things over by jumping in with, “Kaitlan, that was a great interview. Alright, moving on.” But Lemon was undeterred. Though Collins was out of the picture at this point, he seemingly directed the following towards her while also brushing off the control room’s attempt to go to a commercial break:
“Anyway, well, not moving on because, listen, that’s a big issue when it comes to the American – hold on, please, with the music. That’s a big issue when it comes to the American people. The American people are going to have to suffer through all of this stuff from election deniers to people who don’t believe in facts. We don’t have a shared reality. And now it’s taken center stage to people like Marjorie Taylor Greene – an election denier, a conspiracy theorist, a QAnon sort of influencer or supporter – presiding over the House of Representatives. It’s a sad day for America when that happens. And it’s a sad time for us when we have to deal with it.”– Don Lemon
Having co-hosted many programs over the years with many different people, Megyn was horrified by Lemon’s behavior towards his colleague. “As somebody who has co-anchored with a lot of great co-anchors, no guy has even ever come close to doing that to me,” she recalled. “And that’s not to say that I’ve never had a disagreement with a co-host on how an interview went or how the rhythm went on the air, but that is totally disrespectful and out of line.”
Additionally, Lemon’s issue with the Post is purely personal. “He’s mad at the New York Post because they broke the story that makes him look very silly, small, petty, and unprofessional,” Megyn said. “So, this is him trying to disparage them and his co-anchor in one fell swoop.” In Walsh’s view, it just further undermines his credibility. “Staving off the music so you can make your flatulent little points about the New York Post? It’s very embarrassing,” he explained. “What kind of journalist are you to absolutely denounce an entire news organization that does journalism every single day?”
CNN Has a Problem
Since new CEO Chris Licht took over the network last year, it’s been reported that he is trying to make it less partisan. Based on Lemon’s denouncement of the Post, that doesn’t seem to be happening. “Don Lemon is yelling at a fellow journalist because the person wasn’t ideological enough,” Moynihan noted. “He’s taken that eight o’clock yelling shouting show that he once had, and he’s trying to do it on a morning show.”
The most problematic part of the situation, however, remains Lemon’s treatment of Collins. “It is the lowest form of criticism for someone to say, ‘You should have said this; you should have taken this off ramp,’” Moynihan said. “To say to somebody, ‘Why didn’t you do this?’ – it’s like these book reviews that you read that say, ‘Why didn’t the author write the book that I wanted to read?’”
Megyn agreed. “How dare he mansplain to her how to conduct an interview on the air, in front of the audience,” she remarked. “As co-anchors, you don’t argue in front of the audience.” As she explained, viewers are looking for “a united front,” not people who “clearly can’t stand each other.”
While adding Lemon to the revamped morning show with Collins and Harlow seemed to be a lifeline after removing him from the evening lineup, Megyn said it’s time to move on. “I got news for you, Chris Licht, you’re gonna have to break up the band,” she said. “I realize you were finding a soft spot to land for Don Lemon – who you were demoting, in fact, from the primetime – but this ain’t it. You got to try again.”
Her tip? “My suggestion would be to send him right out the door because not only has he had a long history of disinformation and dishonesty, but I guarantee you Kaitlan Collins is not the first colleague he has sat across from who he’s treated this way,” Megyn concluded. “The media should do its homework.”
You can check out Megyn’s full show with the hosts of The Fifth Column by tuning in to episode 488 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.