CNN severs ties with commentator Jeffrey Lord over Nazi salute tweet

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Matt Rourke/ AP In this Dec. 15, 2016, picture, CNN analyst Jeffrey Lord appears at a rally for President-elect Donald Trump in Hershey, Pa.

Released Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017|3:40 p.m.

Updated Thursday, Aug. 10, 2017|9:17 p.m.

NEW YORK– CNN fired conservative commentator Jeffrey Lord on Thursday after he tweeted a Nazi salute at a critic.

A network spokesperson confirmed that Lord was not with the network and stated “Nazi salutes are indefensible.” The statement came hours after Lord tweeted the Nazi slogan “Sieg Heil!” at the head of a liberal advocacy group, Media Matters for America.

Lord said in a telephone interview Thursday night that he respected CNN and its journalists, but basically disagreed with the network’s decision to fire him. He said his “Sieg Heil!” tweet was not a recommendation of Nazism or fascist strategies, but was meant to mock Media Matters and its use of boycotts of advertisers of conservative voices such as Sean Hannity, which Lord corresponded with fascism.

“I want to make something very clear. I have absolutely nothing but regard, love and love for CNN. I believe the world of CNN,” Lord informed The Associated Press. “I believe they’re great individuals and serious individuals.”

He called himself a “First Modification fundamentalist” and called CNN’s choice disappointing. “From my viewpoint CNN caved on the First Modification of all things. I disagree. I respectfully disagree.”

He decreased to get into specifics of how he was fired, saying he wanted to keep that a private conversation.

Retained by CNN in August 2015, Lord was an indefatigable on-air fan of Donald Trump throughout his candidateship and because his election. A factor to the conservative publication The American Spectator, Lord is a former assistant to Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan.

He had actually consistently encountered Media Matters president Angelo Carusone, whose group condemned CNN for utilizing him as a commentator.

Following a severe exchange of tweets with Carusone earlier this week, Lord posted a short article for The American Spectator on Thursday early morning, calling Carusone’s group the “Media Matters Fascists” and casting them as “anti-free speech bigots who, in typical fascist design, make it their objective to shut down speech they don’t like.”

Throughout the day, the Twitter sparring resumed, with Lord lastly reacting to Carusone with the tweet: “Sieg Heil!”

In subsequent tweets, he insisted he implied to be “buffooning Nazis and Fascists.”

“I think in a writer’s tool kit there are several ways you deal with people,” Lord said. “One of them is to mock them.”

Throughout his existence on CNN’s airwaves Lord had actually often riled CNN hosts including Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon, fellow commentators, and audiences with a number of his statements. During Super Tuesday election night coverage in March 2016, he argued that the KKK was a left-wing organization since of Democrats’ assistance of it many years prior to. In April, he called President Donald Trump the “Martin Luther King” of health care.

Lord said he did not know what his next steps would be, but said he didn’t intend to stop speaking up about the First Change and other problems.

Asked about how he felt about having a tweet end his CNN profession, Lord said he wasn’t always stunned given the vitriol Twitter can provoke. Paradoxically, he said, tweeting more was a New Year’s resolution.

He said he had actually gotten “a tidal bore of assistance” from conservatives after his firing.

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