Elon Musk invites fired CNN anchor Don Lemon to host show on Twitter – after Tucker Carlson announced launch
In the wake of Tucker Carlson's surprising announcement that he plans to launch his own show on Twitter following his firing from Fox News, the platform’s CEO Elon Musk has seemingly extended a similar invitation to fellow recently-canned talking head Don Lemon.
Lemon was fired from CNN the same day Carlson was axed from Fox News.
"Have you considered doing your show on this platform?" Mr Musk asked. "Maybe worth a try. Audience is much bigger."
That claim is dubious; while Twitter has a much larger active user base than a typical viewing audience for a CNN show, users would still have to choose to actually watch Lemon or Carlson's shows.
Lemon reacted with shock when he learned he had been fired from the network.
“I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated. I am stunned,” Lemon wrote the day he was fired. He had worked with network for 17 years as an anchor, and said he wished that "someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly".
Though no specific reason was given for Lemon's firing, the move came a little more than two months after the anchor made remarks about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley that many found offensive. He suggested that Ms Haley was not in her "prime," and stated that women were in their primes in their "20s, 30s, and maybe ... 40s."
He later apologised for the comment, calling his statement "inartful and irrelevant".
Have you considered doing your show on this platform? Maybe worth a try. Audience is much bigger.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 10, 2023
“A woman’s age doesn’t define her either personally or professionally,” he wrote on Twitter. “I have countless women in my life who prove that every day.”
Carlson, meanwhile, ended speculation about his next move on Tuesday when he announced he would be starting a show on Twitter, which he hailed as the only large free-speech platform left operating.
He made the announcement in a video posted to Twitter.
Since Mr Musk changed the way verification works, many former users — including local, regional, national and international journalists — have lost their verification.
Many who have paid for verification are Mr Musk's supporters, often right wing, and whose views now appear more prominently than they would have without verification, leaving the platform filled with conspiracy theories and right-wing talking points, leading some users to block users with verification badges on site.
Other prominent users who did not pay for Twitter Blue complained that Mr Musk left their checkmarks along with a message saying the users were subscribed to the premium service, fearing others might think they chose to pay for verification.
Mr Musk himself has been dabbling in conspiracy theories publicly on his platform; not only did he take seriously a theory alleging Paul Pelosi's attacker was actually his gay lover, he also gave credence to the idea that the Allen, Texas mall shooting — that left eight people, including several children, dead — was a government "psyop".