CNN host Don Lemon blasted Arizona GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters for labeling President Biden’s cabinet an “affirmative action regime” after the administration touted the diversity of its personnel.

Lemon, the ratings-challenged host of “Don Lemon Tonight,” appeared on CNN’s “New Day” on Wednesday and slammed the Trump-backed candidate, accusing him of exploiting resentment of “disaffected” and “aggrieved” white people.

He made the comments as CNN’s new corporate parent, Warner Bros. Discovery, has given the network’s new boss, Chris Licht, a mandate to cut down on opinion-driven programming and commentary.

Earlier this month, Licht made the dramatic decision to fire the network’s media reporter, Brian Stelter, and cancel his long-running media criticism show “Reliable Sources.”

Stelter, Lemon and Jim Acosta, CNN’s former White House chief correspondent and current anchor, were considered by many to be the face of CNN’s anti-Trump “resistance” programming.

Lemon began his attack on Masters by saying, “He knows exactly what he’s doing. He doesn’t believe anything he’s saying … and that he’s trying to rile up his base.”

“He’s … trying to reach this white population who feels aggrieved. It’s a grievance culture,” Lemon added.

Lemon’s comments were transcribed by the news site Mediaite.

Masters caused a stir on social media with his attack on Biden this week.

“Look, I don’t care if every single employee at the Fed is a black lesbian,” Masters, who is running to unseat the incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly this November, said in a Twitter video titled with the caption “I’m declaring war on Joe Biden’s dysfunctional affirmative action regime.”

“As long as they’re hired for their competence and not because of what they look like or who they sleep with.”

Masters added: “News for Joe Biden. We are done with this affirmative action regime.”

Masters posted a video on Twitter blasting the Biden administration as an "affirmative action regime."
Masters posted a video on Twitter blasting the Biden administration as an “affirmative action regime.”

Masters doubled down on a tweet from Sunday in which he criticized the Associated Press news agency for a story touting “the most diverse ever” leadership at the Federal Reserve.

“There are more female, Black and gay officials contributing to the central bank’s interest-rate decisions than at any time in its 109-year history,” the AP tweeted.

Masters sarcastically responded: “Finally a compelling explanation for why our economy is doing so well.”

Lemon’s 10 p.m. nightly show has been lagging well behind its competitors in the cable news ratings race.

According to Nielsen ratings cited by Mediaite, Lemon’s show was watched by 509,000 viewers on Monday night — well below the 2.03 million who tuned in to MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell and the 2.07 million who watched Laura Ingraham on Fox News.

Lemon fared worse in the second hour of his show on Monday night, during which he drew just 422,000 viewers — a fifth of the top-rated “Gutfeld!” on Fox News.

Fox News is a subsidiary of Fox Corporation, the sister company of The Post’s corporate parent, News Corp.


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Tyler Cowan