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Tucker Carlson warns that criticism of Don Lemon’s sexist comment will lead to US becoming ‘Rwanda’

Monologue comes after CNN anchor said Nikki Haley wasn’t ‘in her prime’

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Wednesday 22 February 2023 22:33 GMT
CNN’s Don Lemon says Nikki Haley ‘isn’t in her prime’

Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson claimed on Tuesday that a recent scandal at CNN over host Don Lemon’s comments around when a woman is in her “prime” will lead the US down a road of anger and division comparable to the 1994 Rwandan genocide, in which hundreds of thousands of people were killed in ethnic strife.

“Once again the revolution eats one of its own,” Carlson said. “A faithful servant of the Democratic Party is crushed by its remorseless gears. This is the unsentimental map of identity politics. Know your place. Violate the rules of the hierarchy of the caste system and you die.”

“The real question is, where does this leave the rest of us?” Carlson continued. “At a dead end, which is what identity politics is. It’s the ultimate national cul-de-sac. Identity politics is the precise inversion of the American ideal, out of many, one. That becomes, out of one, many. The result? Balkanisation, atomisation, racial strife, hatred, division, and craziness. In the end, Rwanda. No country can survive identity politics.”

Elsewhere in his monologue, Carlson suggested the CNN anchor was being unfairly punished for pointing out that “biology is real” and for criticising “girl power.”

The speech was in reference to controversial comments Lemon made last week, after GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley suggested older politicians should have to take competency tests.

“This whole talk about age makes me uncomfortable. I think it’s the wrong road to go down. She says people, you know, politicians or something are not in their prime,” Lemon said on CNN This Morning. “Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime, sorry. A woman is considered to be in their prime in 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.”

“It’s just, like, prime,” Lemon continued as his hosts pushed back. “If you look it up, if you Google: ‘When is a woman in her prime?’ It’ll say 20s, 30s and 40s. I’m not saying I necessarily agree with that, so I think she has to be careful of saying that politicians aren’t in their prime and they need to be.”

The CNN anchor later apologised for his remarks.

“The reference I made to a woman’s ‘prime’ this morning was inartful and irrelevant, as colleagues and loved ones have pointed out, and I regret it,” he later wrote on Twitter. “A woman’s age doesn’t define her either personally or professionally. I have countless women in my life who prove that every day.”

On Wednesday, Lemon returned to his post on the CNN show after a brief absence.

“I appreciate the opportunity to be back on CNN This Morning today,” the host wrote on Twitter early Wednesday before taking the air. “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.”

Ms Haley, a former US ambassador to the United Nations and governor of South Carolina, hit back at Lemon.

“This is something that I have faced all of my life. It was Don Lemon yesterday, it was Whoopi Goldberg the day before,” she said last week on Fox News. “There will be somebody else tomorrow. I have always made the liberals’ heads explode. They can’t stand the fact that a minority conservative female would not be on the Democratic side, because they know I pull independents, they know I pull suburban women, they know I pull minorities over to what we are trying to do.”

“I wasn’t sitting there saying sexist middle aged CNN anchors need to have mental competency tests, although he may have just proven that point,” she added. “What I was saying is we need to be transparent, those elected officials that are making key decisions for us Americans on national security and keeping our kids safe. And the debt yes, we need to know exactly that.”

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