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Don Lemon had it right. Nicki Haley isn't in her prime, but Biden is! Glad Don's back.

Hey dumbass, don't you get it? Men age much slower than women. Even guys with dementia. And because this country is literally dripping with systematic racism, it's ok for a non-caucasian anchor to say whatever the f-ck he wants.


I applaud Don for not apologizing and sticking to his guns. I'd call him out for being a brainless asshole, but that would mean that I'm racist. I'm not racist, so Don's a good guy.


Don Lemon Returns to ‘CNN This Morning’ Without Acknowledging Nikki Haley Comments On Air


Morning show co-anchor was condemned for comments he made last week about the presidential candidate


Don Lemon has worked at CNN for nearly 17 years.


By Alyssa LukpatFollow

Updated Feb. 22, 2023 9:47 am ET


Don Lemon returned to “CNN This Morning” after a multiday absence, but he didn’t discuss comments he made on air about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley.


Mr. Lemon and his co-anchors, Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow, hosted the show as usual for three hours on Wednesday. They talked about the day’s top headlines, including President Biden’s European trip, but they didn’t mention the story unfolding on their own set: That Mr. Lemon spent three days off air after making the widely condemned comments.


However, Mr. Lemon acknowledged his return on Twitter ahead of the broadcast, saying, “I appreciate the opportunity to be back on @CNNThisMorning today. To my network, my colleagues and our incredible audience — I’m sorry. I’ve heard you, I’m learning from you, and I’m committed to doing better. See you soon.”


His co-anchor Ms. Harlow responded to his tweet, saying, “We are glad you are back!”


Mr. Lemon had been off the air since Friday, a day after he criticized Ms. Haley’s calls to test politicians for mental competency once they are older than 75. He drew criticism from both within and outside of CNN for saying Ms. Haley wasn’t in her prime as a 51-year-old woman.


A CNN spokeswoman had said Mr. Lemon was on a prescheduled vacation in Florida on Friday.


Mr. Lemon was scheduled to be back on air earlier this week but he didn’t appear, The Wall Street Journal previously reported.


On Wednesday, Mr. Lemon introduced a story about an alleged Russian missile test and later passed a story to a reporter who was following the aftermath of the Ohio train derailment. He and Ms. Harlow briefly bantered about how she doesn’t like coffee.


In the early part of the broadcast, he and his co-anchors didn’t have any off-the-cuff discussions about news stories like the kind they had on Thursday last week.


On that broadcast, Mr. Lemon, 56 years old, made the comments about Ms. Haley. “I think it is the wrong road to go down. She says people, you know, politicians or something are not in their prime,” he said.


“Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime, sorry—when a woman is considered to be in her prime in her 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.”


Ms. Harlow pushed back.


He responded, “I’m just saying what the facts are. Google it. Everybody at home, ‘When is a woman in her prime?,’ it says 20s, 30s and 40s. And I’m just saying Nikki Haley should be careful about saying that politicians are not in their prime, and they need to be in their prime when they serve. Because she wouldn’t be in her prime according to Google or whatever it is.“


Mr. Lemon responded to the backlash from his comments while he was in Florida. He apologized on an editorial call with the CNN newsroom on Friday, the Journal previously reported, citing people familiar with the matter. On the call, CNN Chairman and Chief Executive Chris Licht told the newsroom that Mr. Lemon’s comments were unacceptable and a huge distraction for the organization.


Mr. Licht, who was tapped early last year by CNN’s new owner Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. WBD 4.54%increase; green up pointing triangle, said in a memo to the company on Monday night that Mr. Lemon would “participate in formal training.” Mr. Licht said it was important for CNN to balance accountability with fostering a culture “in which people can own, learn and grow from their mistakes.”


After the show last Thursday, Mr. Lemon said on Twitter that his comments were inartful and irrelevant. Ms. Haley responded on Twitter, “To be clear, I am NOT calling for competency tests for Sexist middle-aged CNN anchors; only for people who make our laws and are 75+,” she wrote.


Mr. Lemon has worked at CNN for nearly 17 years and had hosted a prime-time show since 2014. He moved from the evening slot to co-anchor the network’s new morning show with Ms. Harlow and Ms. Collins.


Mr. Licht launched “CNN This Morning” in a bid to expand the network’s morning footprint, but the show has struggled with flagging ratings behind Fox News and MSNBC.


Write to Alyssa Lukpat at alyssa.lukpat@wsj.com

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