The atmosphere in the halls of CNN these days must surely resemble the sort of macabre chaos that one would expect to find on a luxury cruise line after the captain has warned his passengers that the ship is sinking.
Or, perhaps a better analogy yet would be if the ship was suddenly listing to the side and filling with water while the newly-installed captain just stood in the hallways and grinned, murmuring about how he’s going to unsink the ship.
The latest humiliating ordeal at the infotainment network comes after former primetime anchor-turned-morning show co-host Don Lemon was absent from his new gig.
Don Lemon was conspicuously absent from “CNN This Morning” on Friday just 24 hours after he put his foot in his mouth with a sexist comment about 51-year-old Nikki Haley being “not in her prime” — prompting co-host Poppy Harlow to walk off the set.
Friday morning’s awkward broadcast started with a short clip featuring Harlow — who is on location in Salt Lake City, where she is covering NBA All-Star weekend festivities — interviewing TNT’s star basketball commentators Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith.
The camera then panned to co-host Kaitlan Collins, who was seated next to Audie Cornish, the former National Public Radio journalist who was sitting in for the 56-year-old Lemon.
His absence was noted, albeit rather coldly.
“Don has the day off,” Collins said at the top of the broadcast, failing to elaborate on Lemon’s absence — much less mentioning Thursday’s disastrous blowup — as she introduced Cornish.
Don Lemon’s antics have been steadily worsening of late, and were perhaps exacerbated by the embarrassing demotion he took when Licht began shuffling the figurative deck chairs on his metaphorical Titanic.