Office politics can make strange bedfellows, too: Fired CNN anchor Brian Stelter says now-fellow fired CNN anchor Don Lemon and fired Fox anchor Tucker Carlson have kicked off a texting relationship because, well, they were fired within minutes of each other this week.
Lemon and Tucker are “far from” a friendship, but their respective sackings had so many similarities, that it got them talking, Stelter wrote Friday for Vanity Fair. Carlson’s exit was announced late Monday morning, and not even an hour later, Lemon announced his own ouster on Twitter.
Beyond just timing, Stelter writes that “the similarities between the two situations are stacking up. Carlson and Lemon know it: They have been texting back and forth in the past few days, according to two sources with knowledge of the relationship.”
Gee, wonder who Stelter’s two sources could be?
“By ‘relationship,’ I do not mean friendship,” Stelter continued. “Far from it. The two men have never met, and they likely didn’t have much to discuss until recently.”
Needless to say, Carlson and Lemon have been hurling flaming fireballs at one another since time immemorial, with their frequent on-air invectives limited only by the tolerance of FCC censors. But anyone who’s duked it out with a worthy opponent for any length of time knows the kind of bond that dynamic can eventually create — especially if a shared adversary emerges one day, in this case, “management.”
For now, Stelter says it’s just texting — but he also released a thought-balloon that has surely crossed the minds of many media-watchers this week:
“I know this is crazy, but I’m just going to write it anyway: Could the two men team up? I can imagine some hotshot producer selling a new ‘Crossfire’ like it’s for the good of the republic,” he wrote. “In fact, some are already floating the idea. Cable news can make for strange bedfellows. Former CNN star Chris Cuomo now regularly brings former Fox star Bill O’Reilly onto his NewsNation show.”
By no means is Stelter suggesting that such a joint project is in the works — Stelter also threw in the new detail that Carlson’s current contract runs through 2024, meaning that if Fox keeps his reportedly $20-million-per-year paychecks rolling, he might be sidelined until immediately after the next presidential election.
At least he’ll have a new buddy to text with.