A potent mix of delight and outrage erupted Monday on Twitter after two of the country’s biggest media personalities, Tucker Carlson and Don Lemon, were ousted by their respective networks at the same time.
Fox News announced the departure of its top-rated and most provocative conservative pundit, Carlson, about two hours before veteran broadcast journalist Lemon confirmed that he had been fired by CNN. Carlson worked at Fox for just over a decade, while Lemon was at CNN for 17 years.
Celebrities such as actor George Takei and Twitch streamer Hasan Piker were happy to see Carlson go. His exit comes shortly after his personal opinions and private communications regarding Fox News and one of its favorite subjects, former President Donald Trump, were exposed in Dominion Voting Systems‘ high-profile defamation case against the network.
Carlson was also recently sued by one of his former producers, who accused him of discrimination based on gender, religion and disability.
“Don’t let the door hit you on your way out, you horrid, soulless man,” Takei tweeted. “On the other hand, go ahead. Let it hit you good.”
“doubt fox will be able to find a wasp nationalist propaganda machine as good as tucker,” Piker tweeted. “f— him.”
Right-wing figures — including political commentator Candace Owens, apparent business heir Donald Trump Jr. and former Fox News host Megyn Kelly — also reacted to Carlson’s unexpected departure.
“I am positively shocked regarding Tucker Carlson,” Owens tweeted. “Greatest talent at Fox News.”
“OMG,” Trump Jr. tweeted.
“This is a terrible move by Fox, and it’s a great thing for Tucker Carlson,” Kelly said on her eponymous radio show. “I don’t know what drove Fox News to make this decision, and it was clearly Fox News’ decision because they’re not letting him say goodbye. … Talk about misjudging your audience yet again. … Tucker’s the only reason a lot of people still watch Fox News.”
On Monday’s episode of “The View,” panelists Whoopi Goldberg and Ana Navarro led the studio audience in a celebratory wave and chant of “Na na na na, hey hey, goodbye.”
“He is responsible for the degradation that we see somewhat of our democracy in this country,” said “The View” co-host Sunny Hostin.
“As a faithful person, look at God.”
A similar reaction played out among critics of Lemon, who was recently accused of exhibiting misogynistic behavior in the workplace after he came under fire for making a sexist, ageist remark on air.
Lemon dismissed the misogyny reports as “15-year-old gossip.” But he apologized for suggesting during a recent broadcast of “CNN This Morning” that politician Nikki Haley was no longer “in her prime.”
“I guess you’ve gotten away with so much, you’re shocked by consequences,” one person tweeted in response to Lemon’s statement about his firing.
“This is called being past your prime,” wrote one of many who were quick to use Lemon’s own words against him.
Others, however, were saddened by Lemon’s firing. Like Carlson, the longtime CNN anchor received a wave of support from folks who vowed to continue following his career.
“Welp, @CNN … you just lost ME as a viewer!! This is really the last straw for me,” one person tweeted. “If you can’t show loyalty to your longtime staff, then don’t expect your longtime viewers to remain loyal to you! I’m so sorry Don!! Stay strong!!!”
“You were one of my inspirations for becoming a journalist,” another person wrote. “I wish you the best, and where ever you go, I will always tune in.”
Of course, the coincidental timing of the Fox and CNN decisions was not lost on social media users, who had a field day imagining Carlson and Lemon linking up in the unemployment line, swapping jobs or even joining forces.
“Tucker and Don should do a reality show where they have to live together in a little apartment,” one person joked.
“Nobody bother me,” another person tweeted, “I have a buddy-comedy pitch I need to finish in the next ten minutes.”
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.