CNN fires commentator Jeffrey Lord over Nazi salute tweet

NEW YORK — CNN fired conservative commentator Jeffrey Lord on Thursday after he tweeted a Nazi salute at a critic.

A network spokesperson confirmed that Lord was no longer with the network and said "Nazi salutes are indefensible." The statement came hours after Lord tweeted the Nazi slogan "Sieg Heil!" at the head of a liberal advocacy group, Media Matters for America.

Lord said in a telephone interview Thursday night that he respected CNN and its journalists, but fundamentally disagreed with the network's decision to fire him. He said his "Sieg Heil!" tweet was not an endorsement of Nazism or fascist tactics, but was meant to mock Media Matters and its use of boycotts of advertisers of conservative voices such as Sean Hannity, which Lord equated with fascism.

"I want to make something very clear. I have nothing but respect, affection and love for CNN. I think the world of CNN," Lord said. "I think they're terrific people and serious people."

He called himself a "First Amendment fundamentalist" and called CNN's decision disappointing. "From my perspective CNN caved on the First Amendment of all things. I disagree. I respectfully disagree."

He declined to get into specifics of how he was fired, saying he wanted to keep that a private conversation.

Retained by CNN in August 2015, Lord was an indefatigable on-air supporter of Donald Trump throughout his candidacy and since his election. A contributor to the conservative magazine The American Spectator, Lord is a former aide to Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan.

He had repeatedly clashed with Media Matters president Angelo Carusone, whose group condemned CNN for employing him as a commentator.

Following a harsh exchange of tweets with Carusone earlier this week, Lord posted an article for The American Spectator on Thursday morning, calling Carusone's group the "Media Matters Fascists" and casting them as "anti-free speech bigots who, in typical fascist style, make it their mission to shut down speech they don't like."

During the day, the Twitter sparring resumed, with Lord finally responding to Carusone with the tweet: "Sieg Heil!"

In subsequent tweets, he insisted he meant to be "mocking Nazis and Fascists."

"I believe in a writer's toolbox there are several ways you deal with people," Lord said. "One of them is to mock them."

During his presence on CNN's airwaves Lord had frequently riled CNN hosts including Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon, fellow commentators, and viewers with many of his statements. During Super Tuesday election night coverage in March 2016, he argued that the KKK was a left-wing organization because of Democrats' support of it many decades before. In April, he called President Donald Trump the "Martin Luther King" of health care.

Lord said he did not know what his next steps would be, but said he didn't intend to stop speaking out about the First Amendment and other issues.

Asked about how he felt about having a tweet end his CNN career, Lord said he wasn't necessarily surprised given the vitriol Twitter can provoke. Ironically, he said, tweeting more was a New Year's resolution.

He said he had received "a tidal wave of support" from conservatives after his firing.

Related News

2 Fox News execs named co-presidents, will report...

Aug 12, 2016

Rupert Murdoch moves to set up a new management structure at Fox News following Roger Ailes'...

Is NBC's prime-time Olympics due for a change?

Aug 12, 2016

For all the changes media and even Olympics coverage, NBC sticks to a time-honored formula for its...

After storm halts tribute, A-Rod doubles in...

Aug 13, 2016

His pregame tribute ended by a storm, Alex Rodriguez began his final game with the New York Yankees...

Nephew in 'Making a Murderer' has conviction...

Aug 13, 2016

A judge has overturned the conviction of a Wisconsin man found guilty of helping his uncle kill a...

At 93, legendary climber Fred Beckey still...

Aug 13, 2016

Legendary Seattle climber Fred Beckey is the focus of a new documentary film about his life

A-Rod released by Yankees, who owe him $27...

Aug 13, 2016

Alex Rodriguez has been unconditionally released by the New York Yankees, ending his 12 years in...

You may also like these

After storm halts tribute, A-Rod doubles in...

Aug 13, 2016

His pregame tribute ended by a storm, Alex Rodriguez began his final game with the New York Yankees...

Stellan Skarsgard proud of his sons for being...

Aug 15, 2016

Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgard feels that his sons are talented actors, but it's more important to...

Brian Williams to anchor late campaign newscast...

Aug 16, 2016

MSNBC's Brian Williams is getting a regular time slot, at least for a couple of months

Gawker sold to Univision in aftermath of Hulk...

Aug 16, 2016

Spanish-language broadcaster Univision won an auction Tuesday for Gawker Media, which was put on...

New Pennsylvania AG was prosecutor who didn't...

Aug 17, 2016

The former county prosecutor taking over the duties of Pennsylvania's convicted attorney general is...

There are so many celebrities out there, but who’s the real Diva? Discover more on your favorite celebrities and get closer to them only here in The Diva Today

Contact us: sales@thedivatoday.com