In a heartfelt statement, top-rated Arizona news anchor Kari Lake resigned on air this week, thanking everyone who has tuned in and welcomed her into their homes over the last 22 years, adding, “Sadly, journalism has changed a lot since I first stepped into the newsroom, and to be honest, I don’t like the direction it’s going.”
No longer proud to be a member of the news media, Lake, 51, indicated coming to her decision to leave has been a serious struggle, but one she must make. She shared that the field of journalism is in many ways “unrecognizable to what journalism was” when she walked into her first newsroom in 1992. She emphasized that the media needs more balance in coverage and a more comprehensive range of viewpoints represented in every newsroom, on every level, and in each position, explaining:
“In the past few years, I haven’t felt proud to be a member of the media. I am sure there are other journalists out there that feel the same way.
I found myself reading news copy that I didn’t believe was fully truthful or only told part of the story, and I began to feel that I was contributing to the fear and division in this country by continuing on in this profession.”
Regarding my absence on tv: pic.twitter.com/zD3xpDEnmn
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) January 21, 2021
Lake recently said that COVID-19 was the breaking point for her because the stories she was presenting were not entirely truthful. She indicated that while on leave, she had the opportunity to contemplate the state of journalism, her career, and the importance of making sure her work aligns with her values. She also recognized how she put her job before her family. Thus, after frequent praying and asking God to point her in the right direction, she reached her decision to leave. She elaborated, saying:
“The cancel mob’s insistence that certain Covid-related stories not be told or even whispered, while others were told over-and-over made me feel as if I was not giving a balanced view of the situation to viewers.
I became a journalist to be helpful, not harmful, but some of the stories I was reading likely contributing to the fear and division—and I couldn’t do that anymore.”
News of Lake’s departure from the news desk caught the attention of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who said only a truly remarkable woman like Lake could survive at the top of a harsh industry like broadcasting in a state “where you must be prepared to eat scorpions for breakfast.” Brewer told Arizona Daily Independent, “Kari has it all; she is intelligent, diligent, beautiful, and kind. A dynamo. She is a working mother, active in the community, and a stand-up kind of friend. She is thoughtful, conscientious, and always a straight shooter. She gives the very best of herself every day and knows what hard work and dedication means.”
Although Lake has not publicly shared her political views, her social media posts have been scrutinized by some viewers and, at times, used to spark controversy over the past few years. She experienced negative press for having social media accounts on the more conservative platforms Gab and Parler, even though she also has large accounts on the liberal funded tech giant platforms Facebook and Twitter. In 2019, Lake and co-anchor John Hook were accidentally recorded discussing the criticism of her Parler account. Early last year, she was probed and attacked following a one-on-one interview with President Donald Trump.
"In early 2020, Lake was criticized by a small but loud group in what appeared to be a coordinated social media attack following a one-on-one interview with President Donald Trump."
Emmy Award-winning AZ news anchor explains why she is leaving her job.🔻https://t.co/bNXti8qr3d
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) March 2, 2021
Aware of the nature of the beast and the current culture of online censorship, Lake acknowledged that as she closes this chapter of her career, there will probably be some “hit pieces” written about her because not everyone is committed to telling the truth. The “gossip-mongering,” according to Lake, is dragging down journalism as a profession. She added:
“I think in a way, the nastiness toward me is meant to scare other journalists who are open-minded and considerate of all points-of-view to snap back into line, or they, too, will be ‘canceled’ and their reputation attacked.”