Jeffrey Lord is a political figure who made a successful transition to a political commentator. In brief, he came to the public’s attention when he was appointed an associate political director under the Reagan administration from 1987 to 1988 after serving as the co-chairperson for the state of Pennsylvania for the Reagan presidential campaign in 1980. Afterward, Lord started appearing on both TV and radio shows while also contributing materials to a number of news publications.
Why Did CNN Cut Ties with Jeffrey Lord?
On August 10, CNN announced that it was cutting ties with Lord because he had tweeted, “Sieg heil” at Angelo Carusone, the head of Media Matters for America. This came as the culmination of the latest exchange between the two men, which seems to have started because Media Matters for America condemned CNN’s choice to hire Lord as a political commentator. While this came before the recent events in Charlottesville, it was nonetheless enough to convince CNN that holding onto Lord was no longer worth it.
This is not the first time that Lord has made controversial statements. For example, Lord blasted Shirley Sherrod for stating that one of her relatives had been lynched in the 1940s. Lord claimed that calling the incident an example of lynching had been inflammatory because the man had been beaten to death by police officers rather than being hung, but it should be noted that lynching encompasses murders carried out by mobs besides those that used hanging as the murder method. Furthermore, Lord compared Obama to both Mao Zedong and the Hitler Youth because he claimed that Obama’s slogan of “Forward” was similar to Mao’s Great Leap Forward and the Hitler Youth’s “Forward! Forward!,” which was rather bizarre because “Forward” is one of the most generic slogans that can exist. Finally, Lord has claimed that the KKK is left-wing because it used to support the Democratic Party decades and decades ago, which seems like a blatant attempt at deflection considering the political leanings of their modern incarnations.
Summed up, it should come as no surprise to learn that Lord has clashed with other political commentators on CNN on multiple occasions. As a result, it seems probable that CNN’s cutting of ties with him is not an on-the-spot choice but rather something that has been building up for some time.
Why Jeffrey Lord Should Never Be Hired Again
With that said, an argument can be made that other American media companies should follow suit by refusing to hire Lord ever again, but considering the current state of the American media as a whole, that seems like nothing but wishful thinking. In part, this is because recent events make it clear that the American media needs to treat the issue of Nazism more seriously, which means neither normalizing it nor trivializing it by tolerating its use as a rhetorical bludgeon. However, it should also be noted that Lord is just not a good political commentator. There should be room for different political views in political discussions, but when participants are as disruptive as Lord, the results resemble a brawl more than anything that can actually inform the viewers at home, which might be entertaining but will mean nothing good from a political perspective in the long run.