Chief Political Analyst Bill Crane got the sack on Monday from Atlanta’s Channel 2 Action News after mocking former President Donald Trump’s “looming orange face” during a live broadcast on Sunday.
During a segment about Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and his potential testimony before a Georgia grand jury —over claims that the senator had attempted to influence election officials to tamper with results of the 2020 presidential election — Crane turned his attention to Trump.
“Labor Day is when undecided voters and nonaligned voters really start focusing on the election ahead and keeping Donald Trump and his fantasy of elections being stolen in November of 2020 in play, keeps Donald Trump and his looming orange face in front of voters at a time when they’re trying to decide how they’re going to vote,” he said.
Ray Carter, WSB-TV’s station manager, took issue with Crane’s comments and announced on Monday that he had been terminated. The reason, he explained, was Crane’s failure to present the kind of unbiased report that viewers expected.
Carter said that Crane had “uttered remarks not aligned with our commitment for fair and unbiased reporting and analysis. As a result, we’re ending our relationship with Mr. Crane, effective immediately. We value the trust we’ve fostered for decades with our viewers, and we continue working hard to earn and maintain that trust.”
Crane, who had worked with the station since 2006, also responded to the situation, saying, “I offered that it is part of Democratic Party strategy to keep President Trump’s fantasy of a stolen election in play, as well as to keep his orange face looming large as a Bogeyman to increase Democratic voter turnout, even though Donald Trump is NOT on the ballot anywhere in 2022. The Orange Face comment was found to be extremely offensive by some WSB-TV viewers. Calls followed to the switchboard, as well as social media posts, texts and emails.”
Crane noted that he had referred to Trump as the “Orange Man” during previous broadcasts, but said that this latest instance had led station executives to believe that he had “demonstrated bias against Trump and the GOP, which was not recoverable.”
“Perhaps in my verbiage I certainly could have been a bit more PC. I would like to think part of the reason I have been able to do this for 22 years in a top 10 media market is that I call the hard balls and strikes on either side, and attempt to do so with a bit of humor, sarcasm, the occasional pun and tongue in cheek,” Crane added, although he did not offer an apology for his analysis. “I have worked in senior staff positions on both sides of the aisle and consider many of those folks, Democrats and Republicans, as friends and mentors … The ego is bruised, and I am a bit down … but not out.”