CNN anchor walks over "Jesus freaks" remark

Moneyline co-anchor Stuart Varney has made a sudden exit from CNN over Ted Turner's "Jesus freaks" epithet aimed at some CNN staffers last week, The New York Daily News reports.

Varney, who had been on the outs with Turner over his Moneyline interview of the AOL Time Warner vice chairman one year ago. Turner had also sought to bring Lou Dobbs back to ratings-trouble Moneyline after Varney had assumed the co-anchor role. Varney walked out on his co-anchor spot last week after learning that Turner had called CNN staffers observing Ash Wednesday "Jesus freaks."

In the Moneyline interview, Turner balked at answering a question from Varney about his view of Christianity, and was reportedly livid that Varney had posed it. Turner's ex-wife, Jane Fonda, had recently become a born again Christian. Varney also asked a question about controversial Atlanta Braves relief pitcher John Rocker.

CNN has chosen to keep Varney's departure from the ratings-troubled Moneyline News Hour quiet.