In This Episode
- In a series of high-profile cable news firings Monday morning, Fox News announced that the network agreed to part ways with top host Tucker Carlson — and just minutes later, news broke that CNN terminated longtime anchor Don Lemon after 17 years with the network.
- President Biden is expected to announce his 2024 bid for re-election as soon as today. Multiple outlets reported that he tapped White House Senior Adviser Julia Chavez Rodriguez as his campaign manager, signaling that he’s already gearing up to make his case for a second term.
- And in headlines: North Dakota’s Republican governor signed legislation banning abortions after six weeks, demonstrators gathered at Montana’s Capitol to protest the censure of Rep. Zooey Zephyr, and more celebrities came out to say they did not sign up for Twitter Blue.
- What A Day – YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/@whatadaypodcast
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Juanita Tolliver: It’s Tuesday, April 25th. I’m Juanita Tolliver.
Tre’vell Anderson: And I’m Tre’vell Anderson. And this is What A Day where we want what Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick have.
Juanita Tolliver: We got some pro-drag energy, we also got some hips moving. I was like, Kevin Bacon’s still got it.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm.
Juanita Tolliver: Okay. C’mon Footloose.
Tre’vell Anderson: Listen, we see why they’ve been together okay for 30 some odd years. Okay. [laughter] [music beak]
Juanita Tolliver: On today’s show, the Louisville police officer who fatally shot Breonna Taylor has been hired as a law enforcement officer in a nearby county. Plus, who’s actually spending $8 a month for a blue check on Twitter? I know it sure ain’t me.
Tre’vell Anderson: It ain’t me either. No, thank you. But first, two major firings in cable news yesterday. Tucker Carlson is out at Fox News and Don Lemon is out at CNN. Juanita, I was literally still laying in bed, just a scrolling on the Twitters and then it was like a 1-2 punch. Okay. With these separate news alerts about both of them.
Juanita Tolliver: I was not ready, like at all. I was screaming. I was gagged. I was all the things. But let’s get into it. So start off with Tucker Carlson, who we know has his own drama and what’s went down with FOX News.
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes, yes, yes. So I’m going to first answer the question that I think is on everybody’s mind. Or perhaps it was just on mine, I don’t know, which is does Tucker Carlson’s firing have anything to do with the recent Fox News settlement with the Dominion voting systems? It’s a thought that I had when I first heard the news, especially because it you know, it seemed like Fox would not settle in that case at all. And then they did last minute, though, many experts expressed that they thought Dominion could actually win the case in court. And in my mind, I was just like, you know, was this part of the settlement that we just don’t know about? The timing just seemed too perfect. Well, the answer is no. Officially, at least. Apparently pushing the lie that the presidential election was stolen wasn’t the only foolishness that Tucker Carlson was participating in over there at Fox News, where he has been a host since 2016. According to the Los Angeles Times, his exit is actually related to a discrimination lawsuit that was filed by a producer who was fired by the company last month. Her name is Abby Grossberg, and she says she was bullied and subjected to anti-Semitic comments while working there and that other male producers often used vulgarities to describe women. She also says she was coerced by company lawyers to give misleading answers in the Dominion defamation case against the network. Obviously, Fox News denies that claim. They said she was terminated for disclosing privileged company information. But here’s what Abby’s lawyer had to say about the news that Tucker Carlson was being fired. He said, quote, “Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox News is in part an admission of the systemic lying, bullying and conspiracy mongering claimed by our client. Mr. Carlson and his subordinates remain individual defendants in the Southern District of New York case, and we look forward to taking their depositions under oath in the very near term.”
Juanita Tolliver: Ooh, and I’m sure those depositions are going to be messy because Abby Grossberg laid out some disgusting stuff, whether it was decision making or these cutouts of former Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a bikini in his office, like there was a lot in her lawsuit. And so I’m sure a lot more is going to come out. But ain’t nobody gonna miss Tucker. I promise.
Tre’vell Anderson: [laughing] Listen. They will move on as they do. I should also note that Tucker Carlson’s senior executive producer Justin Wells was also fired. So, you know, a full cleaning of the house, so to speak, over there. But get this, The L.A. Times also reports that the decision to fire Tucker actually came straight from the big boss himself, Fox Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch, reportedly, and I lean heavily on the word reportedly here right. Now reportedly, Mr. Murdoch was concerned about Tucker’s coverage of the insurrection, as well as about him promoting certain conspiracy theories. You know, he’s a 12, 13, 14 months late um. [laughing]
Juanita Tolliver: Come on.
Tre’vell Anderson: [laughing] He’s a few months late on that concern. Okay. But it’s also said that some of the comments that Carlson made about Fox News management in those messages that turned up in the discovery process for the Dominion case might also have played a role in his departure. So even though he was by far the most popular individual host on Fox News, they gave him the boot anyway, his time slot on the network will be filled by rotating Fox News personalities until a new host is named according to the company.
Juanita Tolliver: Now, you know Rupert Murdoch don’t care nothing about [laughter] what happened on January 6th or the lies told in the lead up to it so–
Tre’vell Anderson: Oh it’s fishy.
Juanita Tolliver: –miss me with that.
Tre’vell Anderson: Uh huh.
Juanita Tolliver: We know Tucker Carlson is gone because Rupert Murdoch got his feelings hurt like Tucker was texting about him and emailing about him. And so Rupert Murdoch said, let’s lock that up. I don’t care if you are the most watched person–
Tre’vell Anderson: Right.
Juanita Tolliver: –on our network, but let’s be real. Fox is losing, you know, their in-house, xenophobic, transphobic, homophobic, anti-Black, racist mutant. So I feel like they’re going to have have to search long and hard to check all those boxes in the future, but–
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm.
Juanita Tolliver: That’s Tucker Carlson. Now, what is the tea on Don Lemon at CNN?
Tre’vell Anderson: Okay. Well, Don Lemon is basically saying that he was blindsided. Okay. The host who’s been at CNN for almost two decades tweeted the following, quote yesterday morning. “I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN. I am stunned. After 17 years at CNN, I would have thought that someone in management would have the decency to tell me directly. At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network.” But the official response from CNN makes this a bit more messy, because they said in a tweet of their own quote, “Don Lemon’s statement about this morning’s events is inaccurate. He was offered an opportunity to meet with management, but instead released a statement on Twitter.” Somebody’s lying, Juanita? Okay.
Juanita Tolliver: You know that emoji with the big eyes looking around. That is me right now because this is a huge yikes. Oh, my goodness. But do we have any idea why CNN would let Don go?
Tre’vell Anderson: Well, you know, if I was the news manager, he’d been gone a while back when he was carrying on in Ferguson. I believe that there for now. Okay. I believe that they, you know, knock a man when he’s already down. All right. [laugh] But it’s no secret that Don has been in the news the last few months in particular. Back in February, he stirred outrage when he said that Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley wouldn’t win the nomination because she, quote, “isn’t in her prime.” Many called the comment sexist. And it was. And he was forced to apologize. But more seriously. Earlier this month, a report in Variety detailed what is apparently a long history that he has of misogynistic jokes, insults and threats against women he worked with. So not good news there. According to The New York Times, all of that bad press around those situations and recent interviews that he’s been doing dented Don Lemon’s appeal to both guests and viewers. So much so that in recent weeks, the folks who do the booking at CNN even discovered that some guests, important guests, did not want to appear on air with Don Lemon, which makes it hard when you the host and the people you supposed to be interviewing don’t want to be interviewed by you for uh whatever reason, sir. So he might want to look into that. I should also note that Don went from hosting his own primetime show to co-hosting a morning news program, which anybody who’s familiar with the news, you know, making landscape on this side of things, you know, that that’s not necessarily a promotion. Right. So perhaps the writing was on the wall all along. But his contract was supposed to be through 2026. So you can imagine how surprised he must have been. And all the more reason, I think, why we will surely be talking about this again soon, because I’m sure he’s going to be feeling a little litigious, if you will.
Juanita Tolliver: Right. In the purple text that was posted on his social media accounts, was giving legal action will follow so absolutely we will have more updates on that soon. But ready or not, here comes the 2024 president election, y’all. At any moment now, President Biden is reportedly going to officially press go on his reelection campaign. And while at the time of our recording Monday evening, we don’t know the contents of his formal announcement yet. We do have a bit of tea about how his campaign is taking shape. Key messaging they plan to emphasize and the headwinds Biden could face based on recent polling. Tre’vell, I know you love a little bit of political tea.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm. I do love the political tea. I would just like to know, I thought we all agreed that he was just going to do one term and then he was gonna go.
Juanita Tolliver: He did not say that where–
Tre’vell Anderson: I know.
Juanita Tolliver: –in the writing–
Tre’vell Anderson: I know.
Juanita Tolliver: Did you see that friend?
Tre’vell Anderson: I know, I know. I know he didn’t say it, but I just thought it was something we just all accepted. But, you know. Fine, fine, fine, fine. Who has Biden tapped to lead his 2024 campaign?
Juanita Tolliver: Well, according to multiple outlets, President Biden is set to tap Julia Chávez Rodríguez as his campaign manager. Chávez Rodríguez currently serves as a senior adviser at the White House and director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. She was also Biden’s deputy campaign manager for his 2020 presidential bid. So it’s safe to say that Biden is comfortable with her leadership style and her political skills. And on top of all of her accolades. Chávez Rodríguez just happens to be the granddaughter of the one and only Cesar Chavez. So that’s a–
Tre’vell Anderson: Wow.
Juanita Tolliver: –huge deal.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mm hmm.
Juanita Tolliver: According to Reuters, Chávez Rodríguez was offered the leadership role in recent days, and she has accepted the position. And she follows Jen O’Malley Dillon, who successfully shepherded the Biden campaign through a tumultuous 2020 presidential cycle at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. And if this all pans out, I can’t overstate how amazing it is to have a Latina leading a presidential campaign.
Tre’vell Anderson: Absolutely. We love that. And if we have to endure President Biden running again so that we can have this, you know, historic and important moment, I will take it. I will take it. I will take it. So now, what is the message that Biden will most likely roll out in his reelection campaign announcement? He’s got a lot that he could talk about.
Juanita Tolliver: Right. Like and I’ve got a feeling it’s going to be a combo of two things. First up, T-Pain’s All I do is win win win type energy and then part two, a massive contrast with extremist Republicans. For that first part, we should fully expect Biden to lean into all of his legislative successes. You know, the same ones Republicans are trying to either roll back or take credit for in their home states. I’m talking about the things that people can feel and see in their communities, like investments in roads and bridges being repaired across the country, lowering health care and medication costs like that cap on the cost of insulin. Creating millions and millions of jobs for people. In fact, by raw numbers, Biden has created more jobs in two years than any other president has created in a four year term. Look, this campaign will feature a series of Biden’s greatest hits, and this is one of the major perks of Biden running as an incumbent. Now, on to the second part that contrast with the extremist MAGA Republicans. Sounds familiar, right? It’s similar to what Democrats used in the 2022 midterms and since McCarthy took control of the House. But only now, Republicans have provided even more ammunition with their continued attacks on reproductive rights and abortion access, as well as their proposed cuts to programs for children and families, veterans and the environment that we went through yesterday. Biden and his team see the 2024 election as another choice election between him and the eventual Republican nominee, and they will play that card heavily if Trump is the GOP pick, because we all know what comes with Trump in the White House. Chaos. January 6th level lies and attacks, deals with authoritarians like Putin and so much more.
Tre’vell Anderson: I don’t want it Juanita. I don’t want it. We done been through it. I don’t want it.
Juanita Tolliver: See it sounds better now, doesn’t it, friend?
Tre’vell Anderson: Listen. Okay. My God today. All right. Earlier, you mentioned some polling. What does Biden’s support look like right now?
Juanita Tolliver: Most voters are exactly where you’re at right now. They’re groaning. They’re like, if Biden’s going to do this again, then I guess. But they’ve got concerns. Right? So before we get into the polling, though, I have to tell everyone to take this with a grain of salt. We are 18 months from November 2024, so that’s a long time between now and then. But now that I’ve got that disclaimer out the way, voters have a few questions about Biden. According to a recent NBC poll, Biden’s current job approval rating is at 41%, and half of respondents raised concerns about Biden’s age. So this isn’t an ideal starting point at all. But the bright side here is that Biden doesn’t have a serious primary challenger, so he gets to focus on spreading his message and educating voters across the political spectrum to gain ground with Democrats, independents and moderate Republicans for the next year and a half. Meanwhile, Republicans in the primary election are going to be clobbering each other to try to get a piece of Trump who is the clear front runner. Even with Trump’s indictment, a sexual assault trial beginning soon and more potential charges, he still has support from 70% of Republican primary voters. It’s giving. Yeah, that’s mine. And I’m standing beside him in the worst way. In the worst way. But let’s be real. Anything can happen, especially when you factor in that Fulton County D.A. Fani Willis will announce any charges against Trump in the summer. And DeSantis is still in the game, even though he’s dragging behind Trump by double digits. At the end of the day, voters still have a year to pick a side in this horse race. But we should brace ourselves for the drama. That’s the latest for now. We’ll be back after some ads. [music break].
Tre’vell Anderson: Let’s get to some headlines.
Tre’vell Anderson: North Dakota’s Republican governor Doug Burgum on Monday signed legislation that bans abortions after just six weeks in the state. The law makes no exceptions for victims of rape or incest. It was meant to take effect immediately but the North Dakota Supreme Court last month ruled that any state abortion ban would be temporarily blocked while a lawsuit on its constitutionality continues. North Dakota’s law is one of the strictest abortion bans in the country, alongside Florida’s own six week abortion ban that was signed into law earlier this month, as well as Texas’s SB-8, also known as the Texas Heartbeat Act.
Juanita Tolliver: Jury selection starts today in the civil trial, accusing former President Trump of rape. The federal trial happening in Manhattan centers on allegations by author E. Jean Carroll, who in 2019 claimed Trump sexually assaulted her in the dressing room of a Manhattan department store in the mid 1990s. Trump has denied the allegations and last year took to Truth Social to call them a, quote, “hoax and a lie.” Carroll is suing for defamation and battery and is asking Trump to retract the statement he made on the social media site. The trial is expected to last between 1 to 2 weeks. And it seems unlikely that Trump will attend the trial as he is not required to do so. Carroll is among more than a dozen women who have publicly accused the former president of sexual assault and harassment. A dozen geez.
Tre’vell Anderson: Mmm mmm. The Louisville police officer who fatally shot Breonna Taylor, has been hired as a law enforcement officer in a nearby county. Miles Cosgrove was one of seven officers who was involved in the 2020 deadly raid of Taylor’s apartment. And an FBI investigation determined it was Cosgrove who likely shot the fatal bullet. He was fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department in 2021 for violating use of force procedures and failing to wear a body camera during the raid. But he is now employed as a deputy at the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, which is northeast of Louisville. About a dozen people took to the streets in Carroll County yesterday morning to protest the new hire. Meanwhile, in Minnesota, the former police officer who shot and killed Daunte Wright in 2021 has been released from prison. Kim Potter was convicted of second degree manslaughter in the killing of 20 year old Wright, whom Potter says she shot after mistaking her gun for a taser during a traffic stop in a Minneapolis suburb. Potter served just 16 months of her two year sentence behind bars. Per Minnesota law she will spend the rest of her prison term on supervised release.
Juanita Tolliver: Both of these stories are sickening. And, you know, the people in Carroll County knew exactly who Miles Cosgrove was and gave him this job. It’s ridiculous that he’s allowed to be anywhere near law enforcement. But here we are. The three Tennessee lawmakers who faced expulsion votes over their involvement in a gun control demonstration met with President Biden and Vice President Harris at the White House on Monday to discuss how the country can move forward on gun control. You’ll remember that representatives Justin Pearson, Justin Jones, and Gloria Johnson led a protest on the House floor last month in the wake of the school shooting in Nashville that left six people dead, including three young children. Pearson and Jones, who are Black, were expelled by the chamber’s Republican majority. But Johnson, who was white, narrowly survived her expulsion vote. The trio has since been dubbed the Tennessee three, and they visited the Oval Office just days after their Republican colleagues prematurely ended their legislative session without taking any action on gun violence in their home state. In fact, the only thing they did after the Nashville shooting was pass a bill that would protect gun manufacturers from being sued over mass shootings. Literally, you can’t make this up. The intention here is explicitly clear is guns over everyone or anyone else. It doesn’t matter how many school shootings that happened. They clearly want to protect guns and gun manufacturers. It’s sickening. Jones told reporters ahead of the meeting that he and his colleagues planned on advocating for a ban on assault weapons in the U.S., as well as a public health emergency declaration related to the epidemic of gun violence nationwide.
Tre’vell Anderson: On the subject of foolishness in GOP led state legislatures, riot police in Montana arrested multiple demonstrators who had gathered at the state’s capitol on Monday to protest the censure of Representative Zooey Zephyr. Zephyr became the first openly transgender woman to be elected to Montana’s legislature last year. And on Thursday, Republican lawmakers voted to essentially ban her from speaking on the House floor after she voiced her opposition to a bill that would ban gender affirming care for trans youth in the state. She told her colleagues across the aisle last Tuesday that they would, quote, “have blood on their hands if they allowed the measure to pass,” which for the record, it did. Republicans responded by deliberately misgendering Zephyr, and they are now refusing to recognize her until she apologizes for her remarks, effectively blocking her from representing the thousands of Montanans who elected her. This is particularly wild, and Republicans in state legislatures are getting carried away with the ways that they’re going about silencing people. Right.
Juanita Tolliver: Yup.
Tre’vell Anderson: We should all be aware of that for sure. Protesters showed up at the state house yesterday to condemn the move, chanting let her speak, and holding up a banner that says that democracy dies here. Zephyr said yesterday that she will keep trying to speak on the floor in the coming days despite her censure, and that she briefly left the House floor to show support for the protesters who were arrested during the rally.
Juanita Tolliver: The saga of wondering if there’s anything more cringeworthy than having your followers think you paid $8 a month for a blue check on Twitter continues. Days after Elon Musk’s great blue check purge, popular accounts that have been granted the blue check after the switch to paid subscribers only continue to declare that they did not sign up for Twitter Blue. Bette Midler, Simone Biles, Neil Gaiman and Lil Nas X have all tweeted that they did not pay a cent for their blue checkmarks. Blue checks have also appeared on the pages for recently deceased public figures like Chadwick Boseman and Anthony Bourdain. The quote unquote “verified pages” are accompanied with the text that claims that users have, quote, “subscribed to Twitter Blue and verified their phone number.” And clearly, some of Twitter’s most valuable users are embarrassed by the implication. Perhaps Lil Nas X put it most poignantly when he tweeted to his over 8 million followers “on my soul, I didn’t pay for Twitter blue. You will feel my wrath, Tesla man,” because that’s all you are literally a Tesla man at this point. You failed Twitter. Twitter is down the tubes.
Tre’vell Anderson: It is so wild. How just that quickly we went from the blue checkmark being like, you know, something that everyone was clamoring for, right?
Juanita Tolliver: It was coveted. Yeah.
Tre’vell Anderson: It was coveted. And now folks are legitimately trying to distance themselves from the blue check. It’s really wild.
Juanita Tolliver: It just goes to show how toxic Elon Musk is like he is truly, truly someone who no one likes or messes with. Like nobody is riding for this man. No one’s saying anyway.
Tre’vell Anderson: Right. That part.
Juanita Tolliver: And those are the headlines.
Juanita Tolliver: That’s all for today. If you like the show, make sure you subscribe. Leave a review. Savor a world where Tucker Carlson isn’t on television and tell your friends to listen.
Tre’vell Anderson: And if you’re into reading and not just the latest celebrity attempt to beat the Twitter Blue accusations like me, What A Day is also a nightly newsletter. Check it out and subscribe at Crooked.com/subscribe. I’m Tre’vell Anderson.
Juanita Tolliver: I’m Juanita Tolliver.
Tre’vell Anderson: And happy lesbian visibility week.
Juanita Tolliver: [?]
Tre’vell Anderson: Yes.
Juanita Tolliver: Turn up turn up.
Tre’vell Anderson: Shout out to y’all. We see you. Mm hmm. [music break]
Juanita Tolliver: What A Day is a production of Crooked Media. It’s recorded and mixed by Bill Lancz. Our show’s producer is Itxy Quintanilla and Raven Yamamoto is our associate producer. Jocey Coffman is our head writer and our senior producer is Lita Martinez. Our theme music is by Colin Gilliard and Kashaka.