CNN Cuts Ties With Commentator Jeffrey Lord After ‘Sieg Heil’ Tweet

Jeffrey Lord CNN
Courtesy of CNN

CNN said Thursday it had cut ties with Jeffrey Lord, one of its most polarizing and ubiquitous personalities, after he used a phrase largely associated with Nazis in World War II. The separation is the latest at the Time Warner-owned cable-news outlet, which has come under increased scrutiny since the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.

On Twitter, Lord used the phrase “Sieg heil” in a retort to Angelo Carusone, who heads the liberal activist organization Media Matters for America.

“Nazi salutes are indefensible,” the network said in statement. “Jeffrey Lord is no longer with the network.”

As the Trump administration has thrust CNN into an adversarial relationship, the cable-news outlet has had to jettison relationships with on-air personalities almost as fast as it can mint them. In recent months, CNN has walked away from a years-long relationship with comedienne Kathy Griffin and declined to renew a programming pact with author Reza Aslan. Griffin had posted a picture of herself holding a bloody head resembling President Trump. Griffin has for several years co-hosted the network’s New Year’s Eve coverage with Anderson Cooper. Aslan on Twitter used profanity to describe President Trump in the wake of remarks he made about recent terrorist attacks on London. CNN also parted ways with three senior editorial staffers after a recent article in which they were involved had to be retracted. CNN said the process by which the piece was published did not meet its standards.

Lord has been a staunch defender of  the president’s policies, and made a wider name for himself by backing Trump during the campaign and throughout his early White House tenure. In doing so, the conservative commentator and former Reagan administration staffer has infuriated viewers and even some members of CNN’s on-air staff. In May, as Lord rose yet again to Trump’s defense, primetime anchor Anderson Cooper interrupted him and said, “If he took a dump on his desk, you would defend it. I don’t know what he would do that you would not defend.” Cooper later apologized for the statement on screen and on social media.

Critics have charged that Lord’s presence on the network helped give rise to an on-screen atmosphere that emulates that of professional wrestling. For months, CNN has in primetime relied on big panels of analysts, reporters and commentators  – and let a prickly conversation erupt.

Lord joined CNN as a commentator in August of 2015. After his arrival, CNN began to rely more heavily on so-called “surrogates” whose passion for the Trump agenda often outweighed their mastery of facts related to the issues of the day. Scottie Nell Hughes, a radio talk show host and TV producer, came to wider renown on CNN before leaving the network after the election. Another Trump supporter, Kayleigh McEnany, recently left CNN to take a position with the Republican National Committee.

In October of last year, Columbia Journalism Review published an article titled, “CNN’s pro-Trump posse clouds its journalism.”

Jeffrey Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, has defended the network’s reliance on these figures. “At the other cable networks, I rarely hear the other point of view,” he noted during a meeting with reporters in June, adding that people offering a different viewpoint to the prevailing sentiment at rivals are treated like “punching bags.”  People who support President Trump provide “an important point of view,” said Zucker. “To not allow that point of view to be heard would be a disservice.”

While Lord and McEnany have departed, CNN has a full larder of analysts who lean conservative. Among their ranks are Paris Dennard, Mike Shields, Andre Bauer, Scott Jennings, Jason Miller and former U.S. Representative Rick Santorum. Alice Stewart and Ana Navarro, two Republicans who have been critical of the President in recent months, are also on hand.


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  1. Peggy Goodman says:

    While I may disagree with the pro-trump commentators, I found Jeffrey Lord just too hard to watch. Besides disagreeing what he said, I hated the manor in which he said it. It was his laughing like a goofball. Which brings me to the other commentator I would love to see go, Jack Kingston. I just watched him with Don Lemon, trying once again to push the lie that Hillary Clinton started the birther movement and everyone on the panel tried to shut him down but he kept on, laughing like a baffoon. Finally Don Lemon told him that he enjoyed having him on his show, he didn’t want him coming back if he was going to tell lies. I’ve seen him do it several times, always with the laugh. He needs to come to the table as an adult.

  2. CNN cannot be held to blame for truths that have been said about trump. We all know it is difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff and I personally believe that CNN does a bloody good job keeping things truthful. Dan Rather is another who researches before he puts into print (or on TV). The so called president of the United States is not a politician, but is a racist, bigot, bully, liar ANYONE would be better than he. I shall not miss Jeffery Lord, he was also a bigot and racist. I hope CNN keeps up the good work until the president is impeached. Well, that’s another problem isn’t it. His ego (it’s all about him all the time) is too big to handle impeachment, so we will all be denied the pleasure of that. When the flames start to lick at his back, he will resign.

  3. howardfinelt says:

    Good ridden ‘s!!!!

  4. john says:

    The FAKE news kings, CNN can’t stand any diversity in their ranks.

    • jsm1963 says:

      Yeah, I’m okay with not having someone representing the Nazis as a paid contributor.

      • CaptMorgan says:

        I’m sure he was responding to the media matters person’s goose stepping rhetoric. They all fall right in line with the dem propaganda.

    • The Truth says:

      Diverse perspectives are a fundamental feature of CNN’s current programming model, which has enjoyed historically robust ratings increases since the advent of the Trump fiasco. Their segments are intentionally designed to present conflicting political values, unlike Fox News which avoids any intelligent challenge to its warped conservative world view.

  5. Dan says:

    Let me see if I got this right. Chris Cuomo can use terms like this seemingly with impunity and nothing happens, and yet the very FIRST time a person says this who does not tow the liberal line of CNN, and does it OFF CNN’s time; they get fired?

    Could it be that CNN is pi$$ing their pants in fear as the very second AT&T purchases Time Warner next year, CNN IS BEING kicked to the curb and they will either sink or swim? Or that Nielsen has them rated at #10 in their listings and there is no #11 rating? Or the fact their advertisers are fleeing CNN like rats on a sinking ship? When Turner had it, CNN had some credibility, now they make up stuff and verbally attack anyone that does not tow the left wing liberal line and its coming back to bite them on the arse and they are scared to death and rightly so.

    • The Truth says:

      Total bullshit, Dan. Your “facts” are fake.

      CNN’s last quarter was the most watched and most financially successful second quarter in its history, rating second among cable news channels. It was also CNN’s best quarter for 25-54 adults since the 2008 election cycle.

      Furthermore, Jeffrey Lord was not fired for refusing to toe the liberal line. CNN has paid him a small fortune for several years to do just that as their go-to conservative whipping boy. But the network could not reasonably allow their brand to be associated with a contributor who publicly tweets a Nazi salute. Cuomo and other CNN on-air talent have never done anything this stupidly self-destructive.

  6. Adolf says:

    Can’t use humor anymore

  7. ed says:

    Having just read some of the comments. I must say, that anyone who believes that the Media is Liberal is a Fool.
    Knowledge as to who Owns and Controls Global Information…A Rome – Berlin Axis….rather puts the cards on the table.

  8. ed says:

    Fascism was always in the background and shadows in America. If you know your History; but Trump put fascism on the Face of America.

    Unfortunately, the near and far Future and the End for America is Technocracy and Scientism….another form of Fascism.

  9. SalULloyd says:

    Another right wing hatchet man.

  10. Karin C Pope says:

    Since when was Reagan a “good” president? Arms for hostages, putting thousands of mentally ill people on the street by closing resident facilities, putting a memorial on A NAZI GRAVE! That man was heinious but how quickly history forgets. The only difference was that the press liked Reagan. Thats why he’s lauded instead of known for the loser he really was.

    • SalULloyd says:

      Karin C. Pope, get your historical facts straight, St. Ronnie did NOT put people out on the street when he was prez, he did it as GOVERNOR OF CA, with the backing of the holier-than-thou ACLU who said we were violating their rights.

  11. Karin C Pope says:

    There was a time in this country, when differing opinions resulted in civilized discourse and discussion. Now it’s a witch hunt to eliminate anyone who disagrees with the whining liberal press. Oh-Kathy Griffin was akin to a pestilence, not funny and more than revolting. Good riddance. She can eat in the pig chute with Roseanne Barr.

    • Peggy Goodman says:

      And your comments here were civilized discussion?! “She can go eat out of the pig chute with Rosanne Barr?! Thank you for letting everyone know what civilized discussion looks like

  12. Steven Bell says:

    Thank you so much CNN it is about time y’all part company with him, he was not CNN material and that’s the plain Truth and CNN you are Fair with your decision please us involved with breaking news

  13. yeah i do not think Jason Miller will be on there anytime soon after his scandal broke .

  14. Tish says:

    Whew! Thank you CNN!
    Jeffrey Lord’s repetitive references to the Reagan Administration and comparison to this embarassing current administration was old and tired.

    Petitioning to let Jason Miller go next!

  15. Andrew Auletta says:

    Of course they parted ways. It has nothing to do with what he said. I’m sure it has everything to do with the fact that he’s a conservative. #FakeNewsAtItsBest

  16. K.D. says:

    That’s all it took?! Lord was a clown, having spewed a lot more ridiculous swill than that. Will be interesting who Zucker hires to replace him, to match the lowest level of discourse that was their precedent. Just don’t recruit Barnum & Bailey cast-offs.

  17. Haha so he uses that term in comparing the media matters left wing activist to Nazi germany which is factually correct and they fire him? lol I like how you try to spin this Variety. This is why we elected trump. We know who the real Nazis are.

    • The Truth says:

      Factually correct? Only in your alternative universe. You “know who the real Nazis are” because you’re one of them.

    • Jennifer Mascari says:

      The real nazis are those who casually and publicly use their phrases. Interesting that youre sticking up for them.

  18. JOE S HILL says:

    Another casualty of the insane liberal media and the liberal left fruitcakes who despise and loathe President Trump. looks like CNN is showing its true colors here since it’s clear that they don’t think highly of conservatives like this Jeffrey Lord commentator, and is that really a big surprise? now there’s talk of CBS possibly buying the Time Warner owned news channel like that’s going to change anything here, which it won’t! clearly, CNN is a one sided liberal organization that has lost its objectivity, which again is no huge surprise! but not allowing honesty, up to the insane point where they have to sack somebody because of all the PC bullshit being used has made this news organization a loathsome place to work for, and i don’t waste so much as a second watching them or FOX anymore!

    • The Truth says:

      If you think it’s insane PC bullshit to part ways with any employee in the public eye who stupidly tosses around Nazi exhortations, you’re seriously ignorant. This is not about stifling honesty; it’s about observing an appropriate standard of public behavior.

      And BTW, employee morale at CNN is stronger than ever. Most CNN workers are now deeply engaged in what they believe is righteous opposition to Trump’s “fake news” smear campaign. Ratings are way up, and confidence in Zucker’s leadership is high. But if you’re truly looking for a loathsome place to work, the continuing stream of sexual and racial harassment suits at Fox News are an excellent indicator of a sick culture.

  19. Bill says:

    You spelt White House wrong

  20. 1Ronald says:

    Don’t know Mr. Lord and have only seen him appear with others sharing his viewpoint. With a moderator. But a lot gets stuffed under that “Conservative” umbrella supposedly thought safe from recriminations of others. Yes, some of it is not so good. Now if we could have buried all of that stuff in the 1940s that keeps popping up every now and then we’d be a better nation. But it won’t go away. It will never go away. The only thing you can do is deal with it when situations arise.

  21. Barbie says:

    They need to fire all the liberal anchors who compare Trump to Hitler. Media Matters is the real criminal using Nazi tactics!

  22. m s says:

    I hate to see anyone fired or lose their job..however..i have e mailed cnn on more than one occasion about mr lord,a tried and true surrogate of donald trump..his attitude,ridiculous responses on the panels they have,and constant comparisons to trump and ronald reagan,whom he worked for,have gotten old..i was not a reagan voter,but Donald trump is a far cry from him as president! if you want to defend trump as a surrogate,at least have reasonable answers for defense of his actions…

  23. Gary Middleton says:

    Not sure about this one. Does this mean anyone who compares Trump to Hitler (hacky but frequently appropriate, imo) has to go?

  24. cadavra says:

    Any road that gets you there is the right one.

  25. Story says:

    This will be good for Trump. He was terribly unarticulate during his broadcasts. Trump will be better served by having a more seasoned veteran like the Dems have on CNN representing his talking points.

    • Brandon says:

      Jeffrey Lord is a seasoned veteran. He worked for the Reagan White House. You can’t get more seasoned than that. Maybe it’s that Trump has no defensible positions

      • Zoe says:

        Jeffrey Lord, like all surrogates always was pictured with a huge Reagan picture behind him and every other word was Reagan, Reagan – just because he worked in that admin. All of Donnie’s surrogates have the same look – they all smile like Cheshire cats, even when they’re all spouting off – they remind me of the crooked evangelists vying for money from people that can’t afford it. Kayleigh McElhanney – same – pretty girl complete with cross around her neck smiling continually when asked about Trump’s Extra comments – defending him – good Christian girl huh? Now she’s on “Trump TV”. Sebastian Gorka succeeded in scaring the bejesus out of me – today was a good one, badmouthing Sec. of State. Ah well, he’s buddies with Steve Bannon – he was Breitbart’s editor. Those two probably give that disgusting “salute every am and pm.

  26. See Me - Feel Me says:

    It’s about time. This guy belongs on Fox. Like Hannity he’s a master liar and his fact-less spinning would be much more at home there. And if he likes to harass women so much the better.

  27. Harley Robert says:

    I liked watching him twist himself into a pretzel in his never ending zeal to defend the indefensible.

    • dji says:

      he went bill marr and marr told him that he would not let him spread his bullshit on his show like he does on cnn. he completely destroyed him. and for all you right wing trumpsters get your head out of your ass. your party lies about everything. and that’s because since William buckley died all the intelligence has left you.

  28. SMS says:

    This would mean more if CNN hadn’t tolerated his hate speech for so long. What next, Bill O’Reilly?

    • T0rchwood says:

      As a matter of fact, YES. He is booked for a appearance in September to promote his next book “Killing England”. Do you really think they wouldn’t hire him in a heartbeat to deflect some of the “fake news” comments?

      • Peggy Goodman says:

        Did you notice that CNN hired Greta VanSustern and she didn’t last a month?! I found her vile on Fox and was pissed to see her on CNN. Obviously others did too. They would never bring Bill OReilly to CNN. I have no problem whatsoever hearing a difference of opinion from someone who is intelligent and presents themselves in an appropriate manner. Just like I have been ok, not happy, through a republican presidency. Trump is nowhere near competent enough to be the president. The more I hear him speak the more I believe he is just a figurehead at trump inc

      • The Truth says:

        Are you serious? CNN will give O’Reilly every opportunity to put his foot in his big mouth while arrogantly plugging yet another book he didn’t write. But the chances they’d hire a lying $15 million sex dog are non-existent.

        And in case you missed it, Trump’s “fake news” campaign has driven CNN viewership and profits to record numbers. As long as Dickhead Don keeps calling them out, they’ll keep growing and going to the bank.

  29. Ken says:

    You know what?
    This is getting too much kindergarten for me ;-)

  30. Timely Comment says:

    With Trump promising a blitzkrieg of “fire and fury” against North Korea… there’s a sensitivity to using German terminology that Jeffrey Lord found out? Particularly of glibly using a Nazi praise that offended his CNN employers…

    It’s political schadenfreude that a vocal Trumpeteer like Lord is fired for such a reason. I guess he’ll praise and defend the (R) President group leader at another organization like FOX News or One America instead…

  31. TDR Cure says:

    Pol Pot, meet Pa Kettle.
    You communist useful idiot.

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