Twitter/X launches new shows featuring gay and anti-LGBTQ+ hosts

On Tuesday, X announced they were partnering with Don Lemon, Tulsi Gabbard and Jim Rome to launch new shows on the ever-expanding social media site, immediately sparking controversy.

The platform formerly known as Twitter is run by billionaire right-wing conspiracy theorist and sometime white nationalist Elon Musk. Musk is also known for his stridently anti-LGBTQ+ posts over the years and for promoting a false homophobic narrative about the violent attack on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, as PGN reported in November 2022. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton challenged Musk on that attack and he deleted his tweets without comment.  

The latest move on X is another attempt to bolster the platform’s flagging ad revenue which has suffered under Musk’s volatility and welcoming of far-right extremists and disgraced conspiracy theorists and white nationalists, like Alex Jones, Nick Fuentes and Kanye West. Musk has promoted antisemitic tropes like the “Great Replacement Theory,” and accused the Anti-Defamation League of conspiring to damage the platform by calling out antisemitism.

In November, Musk sued progressive watchdog Media Matters for America, after they reported that ads from major corporations were running next to antisemitic content on X.

In December, the European Union opened a probe looking into whether X failed to combat disinformation and illegal content on the platform.

In recent days, Musk has been promoting the conspiracy theory that Democrats are bringing in Latino immigrants to vote in 2024. And in a tweet that received 55 million views, Musk said, “In the USA, you don’t need government issued ID to vote and you can mail in your ballot. This is insane.”

Eight states have mail-in ballots only and of those three are red states. In addition, the entire military votes by mail.

In a tweet declaring “2023 was foundational, 2024 will be transformational,” the platform’s business account stated that 2024 would be about “Transforming the Global Town Square.” 

“We will create more original content and bring in more talent with some of the most interesting and engaged people on X,” the company stated.

As part of that process, X is launching three new shows on the platform to be hosted by former CNN anchor Lemon, former U.S. Rep. Gabbard and syndicated CBS sports radio commentator Rome.

Lemon, Gabbard and Rome join former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who launched his show on X last June after he was fired from Fox News when the conglomerate lost nearly a billion dollars in a lawsuit over the network’s false reporting during the 2020 election, an effort Carlson led.

Lemon, who is gay, was fired by CNN last April after 17 years at the network, most recently as co-anchor of “CNN This Morning” with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins. Lemon’s firing followed a sexist altercation with his two female co-anchors and reports that he often made misogynist comments to female colleagues. In an announcement on Twitter back in April, Lemon said the firing left him “stunned.”

X said “The Don Lemon Show,” covering topics across politics, culture, sports and entertainment, will run in 30-minute episodes three times a week. Lemon was jubilant, writing in a statement on X that he is “back bigger, bolder, freer!”

Calling X the “biggest space for free speech in the world,” Lemon wrote

“I know now more than ever that we need a place for honest debate and discussion without the hall monitors.” 

X announced Gabbard’s new show with a traditional Hawaiian greeting.

“Aloha! We’re excited to announce a new partnership with 

@TulsiGabbard! The Army Reserve officer and veteran, 4-term congresswoman, and 2020 presidential candidate will be sharing her unique POV through an exclusive series of documentary style videos and broader content on X. X is a free speech platform for all voices — thank you for sharing yours, Tulsi. E komo mai!”

Gabbard represented Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District from 2013 to 2021 as a Democrat, and in 2020 she mounted an unsuccessful bid for the party’s presidential nomination

Gabbard having her own shows is a disturbing development. Her 20-year assault on LGBTQ+ people has continued unabated and unchecked. Her Twitter/X account is a minefield of homophobic and transphobic comments and retweets of bigoted comments by other accounts and the final legislation Gabbard promoted prior to leaving Congress was anti-trans. Gabbard introduced a bill into the U.S. House of Representatives in December 2020 that would dictate Title IX protections for female athletes be based on biological sex — a term often used to refer to gender assigned to a person at birth. 

Gabbard once touted working for an antigay group that backed conversion therapy. In 2004, she referred to this reporter as part of a “radical homosexual agenda” for reporting on her efforts to block marriage equality in Hawaii as a member of the state legislature.

Since losing the Democratic presidential primary in 2020, Gabbard has left the Democratic party. In a video posted to Twitter in October 2022, Gabbard said she believes the Democrats are “now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness.” 

Gabbard has been a fill-in host at Fox and a frequent contributor to the network. Last month, she was the guest on Laura Ingraham’s show during which she asserted that attempts to remove Donald Trump from ballots in the states were the “Dem establishment weaponizing government agencies” and trying to get Trump assassinated. 

After X announced its partnership with her, Gabbard, sporting her iconic Cruella de Vil black hair with the white stripe, presented a video on X shot through a hazy filter in which she announced her new show and explained what it would cover.

Gabbard said, “Freedom of speech is a fundamental right in America. Sadly we live in a time where debate, dialogue and dissent can be cause for cancellation and censorship by those in power. To defend free speech, we must use it. I’m announcing a new partnership today with X where under @elonmusk leadership, free speech is not only protected, it is celebrated. We will be bringing you stories & news about the truth of what’s happening in our country and world but that those in power don’t what you hear, and a series of short films that share the stories of those most impacted, but whose voices are silenced.  Looking forward to working with @lindayaX, @bweitz and the team @xnews @xbusiness!

Like most radio sports hosts, Rome has some past baggage of anti-LGBTQ+ comments, but in 2008, when called out by GLAAD for homophobic and transphobic references, he apologized and in 2022, refused to allow Dan Sileo to guest-host the Jim Rome Show on CBS Sports Radio after homophobic tweets by Sileo were revealed. 

Rome’s show will begin streaming five days a week on the platform after the Super Bowl.

“Totally HYPED to announce my new video programming partnership with X!” he posted Tuesday. “We will be live on X soon and I can’t wait.”Neither X, Lemon, Gabbard or Rome had responded to PGN requests for comment at press time.

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