WSB Cans Crane Over Trump Remark


WSB Atlanta TV and Radio Political Analyst Bill Crane is out of work today after referring to former President Donald Trump as “orange face.” Cox Media Group, which owns both the TV and Radio stations, said Crane crossed the line and lost his credibility.

Here’s the entire statement from the Sunday night TV broadcast that got Crane fired: “”Labor Day is when undecided voters and not-aligned 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.”

Rodney Ho at The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that WSB-TV General Manager Ray Carter issued a statement that “during Sunday evening’s Channel 2 Action News 6 p.m. telecast, Crane 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 told Fox News Digital he stands by his analysis but that his sense of humor went “over the head of some viewers, and of course not funny to others.”

Crane also went to social media to respond to his firing: “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 also told Fox News that he respects the station management’s ability to make this call. “Georgia is a right-to-work state, a concept which I also support, and employers may terminate ‘at will.’ It doesn’t necessarily need to make sense to the employee. I have been offering on-air political analysis in this market for 22 years. Without a doubt, I have offended folks on both sides of the aisle as well as staffed a couple of senators and one governor in both of the major political parties. But a lot of people have lost their sense of humor, and I think given the hundred of hours of airtime and nearing 1000 weekly columns, this part of my career and livelihood would come down to more than four words.”

Would you have fired Crane?


  1. With status comes responsibility. The public has a reasonable expectation that journalists and news analysts are reasonably educated. An educated person should be able to identify an ad hominem and other classical or informal fallacies. It’s OK to express disapproval of Trump’s policies or actions in the context of an opinion piece, but to use ad hominem insults in doing so is juvenile. I don’t have to agree with the commentary, but I expect adult behavior from journalists.

  2. Sounds like Cane has an issue with people of a differing skin tone than his own. There is no room for racism in today’s day and age.

  3. I may have fined Mr. Crane to mollify certain viewing groups but I think what he said is actually spot on. I agree with Rob Timm in that Bill Crane was giving an “opinion”.

  4. But that’s the thing. He’s not anchoring news. He is an analyst which, as Bill Meyer rightly points out, involves opinion and comment. In politics that’s what analysts do. If one of my anchors had made that comment in their cast, out the door! But for those of us who have followed Crane’s career and live in his market, not unexpected and part of what he was paid for…or at least it was thought.

  5. I would have fired him if he had only used the term “fantasy”. That is not news, it is not fact, it is opinion. Opinion is not analysis. I don’t watch news to get opinion, which in today’s world, means there’s not much I can watch. Looming orange face…. seriously? Both comments together indicate a complete lack of professionalism.

    • The Big Lie is, in indisputable fact, fantasy, though I suppose we could use a term that more accurately describes the malevolent nature of the motives behind the lie. Any political analyst is, by definition, rendering his opinions. It’s not chemistry.

  6. In my opinion Political Analyst = wiggle room for opinion and comment, a bit different from news anchor. I probably would have taken a lighter touch with him, but that’s their call.


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