Bill Crane fired as WSB political analyst over Trump remark

He called Trump ‘Orange Face’ Sunday night during a telecast
Channel 2 political analyst Bill Crane returns to the station in 2024. This is a shot of him on TV from 2022.

Channel 2 political analyst Bill Crane returns to the station in 2024. This is a shot of him on TV from 2022.

Long-time WSB-TV and radio chief political analyst and commentator Bill Crane was fired Monday after mocking former president Donald Trump’s appearance.

Ray Carter, general manager for WSB-TV, wrote in 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, who has worked with WSB since 2006, released a lengthy statement on social media to provide his take on what happened.

He said he was answering a question about Fulton County District Attorney’s office investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn electoral results from the 2020 election in Georgia. “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,” he wrote.

Crane then noted, “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.”

He acknowledged that he has called Trump “The Orange Man” multiple times in print and on broadcast before. “I’m sure that strong supporters of the former president find that offensive,” he wrote. “And I do apologize for that, as the comment last night and other instances were not meant to offend.”

Crane said management told him he had “crossed a line.” They said his remark “demonstrated bias against Trump and the GOP, which was not recoverable,” he wrote.

He did not apologize for his actual analysis, noting only that “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: “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.”

Before he worked at WSB-TV and WSB radio, he provided political analysis for 11Alive from 2000 to 2006. He also writes a syndicated news column, “One Man’s Opinion,” that is seen in many small local papers in metro Atlanta.