CNN has fired political commentator Jeffrey Lord after he tweeted “Sieg Heil!” in response to a comment, but the former Reagan administration official says his comment was misunderstood and was meant to mock fascists.
It happened on early Thursday afternoon when Lord tweeted a link to an article in which he criticized progressive group Media Matters for America (MMFA), calling them “anti-free speech bigots who, in typical fascist style, make it their mission to shut down speech they don’t like.”
MMFA President Angelo Carusone responded to the tweet, saying Lord’s article had a mistake in the headline. “Why do you expect anyone to take you seriously when you don’t take yourself seriously,” Carusone wrote.
About 5 minutes later, Lord responded to Carusone, writing: “Sieg Heil!”
The tweet quickly received criticism from other Twitter users, some of whom called for Lord to be fired. But Lord defended his tweet, saying he was mocking “wannabe Nazis and fascists” and that his remark was in connection with his article.
CNN confirmed later on Thursday afternoon that Lord had been fired. “Nazi salutes are indefensible. Jeffrey Lord is no longer with the network,” the network said in a brief statement. Lord’s current contract was set to expire at the end of the year.
“I love CNN, but I feel they are caving to bullies here,” Lord told a CNN reporter. On his Twitter account, Lord responded to the news with a brief comment, writing: “LOL!”
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