Jeffery Lord said his dismissal from CNN proves that the network doesn’t promote free speech, and believes its decision to fire him was “wrong.”
CNN ended its relationship with Lord, a conservative commentator, on Thursday, after he tweeted, “Sieg Heil!” to Angelo Carusone, president of the Soros-funded group, Media Matters for America. Lord tweeted the Nazi victory salute to Carusone because she is currently engaged in a personal crusade to take down top conservatives, including Sean Hannity. Media Matters has launched an all-out campaign to bring down Hannity’s radio and TV shows, by targeting his advertisers.
It should be noted that before the exchange that took place between Lord and Caruson on Twitter, Media Matters had called for Lord’s firing from CNN.
After he tweeted the Nazi victory salute to Carusone, a CNN spokesperson said the network feels “Nazi salutes are indefensible.” It then summarily dismissed Lord.
Lord provided his perspective while at his home in Pennsylvania. In an interview with The Hill, he says he wouldn’t have done things differently.
“I have no hesitation about this [using a Nazi salute]. If I had known this was going to end up like this, I would have done it again,” he said Friday. “You have to go after these people [Media Matters]. This is not allowable under any circumstances.”
Lord says he “loves” the people at CNN, labeling them as having been “terrific” with him. “I like [CNN president] Jeff Zucker a lot,” Lord sad. “I have enormous respect for him.”
However, Lord thinks CNN dismissed him not because of personalities, but because of conflicting ideas about free speech.
“This is about a serious issue here about the First Amendment, free speech, and people going after people to get them off the air,” Lord reportedly said. “I disagree with CNN on this completely. I think they’re wrong and I think they proved my point. By doing what they did, they caved.”
Still, there were highlights to the firing. Lord has received numerous messages of support, and Twitter lit up with disdain over CNN’s decision.
“Media smears Jeffrey Lord for making ‘Nazi gesture’ when he was clearly satirizing the left,” wrote National security reporter Mike Cernovich in a tweet.
“CNN is truly a farce & a joke. I’ve known Jeff Lord for decades. He’s a thoroughly decent & thoughtful person….,” wrote Mark R. Levin, host of “The Mark Levin Show,” in his tweet.
Another supporter came in the form of presidential adviser Stephen K. Bannon. According to Lord, he’s received a phone call from Bannon since the firing, although he hasn’t heard from President Trump.
“In all candor, I think he’s busy,” Lord joked, in reference to expecting a phone call from the president. “I may have my situation, but it doesn’t involve nuclear weapons, thank God.”
Lord, who was one of the few pro-Trump personalities to appear consistently on CNN, is also a columnist for conservative magazine The American Spectator. He reports that he’s currently in talks with two national networks and that he’s entertaining a book deal.
In closing that chapter of his life, to CNN Lord said simply, “Good bye and I love you. We just disagree.”
In an earlier report Friday, Chief White House strategist Steve Bannon reportedly reached out to Lord following his unceremonious dismissal from serving as CNN’s token Trump supporter.
Lord told Penn Live that the former Breitbart executive reached out to him in a call after the firing, telling Lord to “keep fighting.”
“Absolutely,” was his response. Lord wouldn’t provide further details on the phone call but said he plans to fight his former employer on grounds they infringed on his First Amendment rights.
As a Trump-supporter, Lord was often outnumbered by opponents on CNN’s political panels. He made a career of fending off a multi-headed attack.
The fight with Carusone started after Lord wrote an opinion piece for the conservative magazine, The American Spectator, that called Media Matters “fascist.” When Carusone saw the piece, she said she couldn’t take it seriously because of an error in the headline, which prompted Lord to respond with the Nazi salute.
When news broke that he was fired from CNN, Lord responded on Twitter by stating: “LOL.”
Lord defended his statement to Penn Live, saying he thinks you should be allowed to “make fun of Nazis.” He also said he was in “serious disagreement” with his former employer and characterized their firing of him as “caving in to Nazi tactics.”
“The notion that you cannot make fun of people who use Nazi tactics — they’re caving to the Nazi tactics,” he said
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