“Good riddance!” That’s what the Anne Frank Center had to say about CNN commentator Jeffrey Lord being fired Thursday after he tweeted, “Sieg Heil,” a victory salute that used to be said at political rallies.
“GOOD RIDDANCE, JEFFREY LORD. We commend @CNN for firing @POTUS defender Lord for using Nazi salute on Twitter,” the organization wrote.
“We commend CNN for immediately firing Jeffrey Lord,” said Steven Goldstein, executive director of the Anne Frank Center of Mutual Respect. “The infestation of #Antisemitism in Trumpworld is a global embarrassment and apparently has no end. The president will no doubt engage in distraction now by calling CNN ‘fake news.’ But CNN is real news, and the Trump Administration and its defenders are filled with real prejudice.”
For quick background, Anne Frank was a German-Jewish teenager who hid during the Holocaust. During World War II, she kept a diary. Her and her family spent more than two years hiding in a secret room in Amsterdam. She ultimately died of typhus at a concentration camp. Her diary was published posthumously when her father, the only survivor of the family, discovered it.
Using a Nazi salute was a “red line” for some CNN employees, New York Magazine writer Yashar Ali tweeted the same day. “I'm told by two sources that two prominent CNN anchors made it clear to management that Lord's tweet was an inexcusable red line,” he wrote.
CNN said there was no excuse for Lord’s tweet. “Nazi salutes are indefensible,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement on the day of the controversy. “Jeffrey Lord is no longer with the network.”
Lord’s response to his firing? He wrote it was just a joke, writing, “LOL!”
The commentator added on the phone to CNN host Brian Stelter, “I love CNN,” but “I feel they are caving to bullies here.”
Stelter added in another tweet: “Lord told me his ‘Sieg Heil!’ tweet was ‘mocking’ the activists at @MMFA ‘who are posing a serious threat to the American free press.’”
Before he was fired, Lord he was going back and forth with people about fascism. When netizens told him his tweet was not funny he wrote back, “Nazis, Fascists, mass murder and stamping out free speech are decidedly not funny. Media Matters Fascists are in to one of them.”
He said in another message: “So opposing a Fascist/Nazi-style attempt to stop free speech is itself Nazi/Fascist? Ahhh Orwell” and “So you hate it when I mock Nazis and Fascists? Interesting.”
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