Among the many shakeups taking place at CNN - most recently including the canning of "Reliable Source" Brian Stelter - has been the demotion of Don Lemon, who has now been moved from Primetime to mornings.
In making the on-air announcement about his move, Lemon's attempt to spin the narrative of being demoted was palpable. So was the cringe.
"I was presented with an opportunity that I just can’t pass up, at this network, and we have a new boss who is a morning show [expert]. And he wants a morning show that will kick off the editorial direction of the network, every single day, and I am honored that he asked me to do it," Lemon said on the air last week.
He continued: "For all those who are out there saying, ‘Oh, he moved me and without my —,’ he asked me and I said yes. I could have said no. This is my show, I have a contract for this show, I decided I would take him up on that and take this journey with him. This is not someone moving me."
"I was not demoted. None of that. This is an opportunity. This is a promotion. This is an opportunity for me to create something around me and I get to work with two great ladies [Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins] who you know."
A longtime network morning show producer said to Fox News about the move: "This is an extremely embarrassing demotion for Don Lemon, and likely a prelude to his termination. When this new morning show launches and flounders in the ratings, which it will, he’ll be the first to go. CNN had tried for years to fix its morning programming and Don Lemon is not the answer."
As the Fox report notes, even Keith Olbermann saw the news for what it was: "Chris Licht demotes Don Lemon to CNN's wasteland."
OutKick founder Clay Travis added: "Don Lemon was demoted out of his primetime television show and he now is going to be on an early morning show. So, Don Lemon is going to move from a primetime CNN program that no one watched to an early-morning CNN program that no one will watch. Congratulations to him on the massive, massive, massive promotion."
Here's Lemon melting down in all his glory: