Monday, March 18, 2019

Fox Pulls Plug On Judge Jeanine

In a surprising move, Fox News has pulled the plug on Judge Jeanine. The cancellation of Jeanine Pirro’s popular show appears to be related to the loss of advertisers after the judge made controversial comments about Muslim congresswoman Ilhan Omar on March 9.

Fox did not announce the suspension publicly, but Judge Jeanine’s show did not air in its usual time slot on Saturday night. CNN reported that Fox neither confirmed nor denied that Pirro had been suspended or fired. There was no indication of whether Pirro’s show will return next week. Variety reported a few hours before air time on Saturday afternoon that Pirro’s show would be replaced with a rerun of “Scandalous,” a documentary series.

“We are not commenting on internal scheduling matters,” Fox told USA Today in a statement.

On her March 9 show, Pirro questioned in a scripted monologue whether Rep. Omar’s (D-Minn.) use of a hijab, a traditional Muslim head covering, was “antithetical” to the Constitution. “Think about it: Omar wears a hijab,” Pirro said. “Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?”

Pirro’s words were remarkably similar to Omar’s own claims that Jewish congressmen “forgot what country they represent” and need a “refresher” on the Constitution. Omar’s tweet drew widespread criticism from both parties.

After the monologue, several companies pulled their advertising from Pirro’s show. The Hollywood Reporter noted that online auction site Letgo, personal finance company Nerdwallet, and pharmaceutical companies Allergan and Novo Nordisk had dropped the judge.

Pirro did not apologize for the monologue, but denied that she had called Omar “un-American.” Pirro said, “My intention was to ask a question and start a debate, but of course because one is Muslim does not mean you don’t support the Constitution. I invite Representative Omar to come on my show any time to discuss all of the important issues facing America today.”

Judge Jeanine’s absence from the Saturday night lineup created a backlash on social media. In particular, one prominent fan who lives in Washington, D.C. tweeted angrily to the network, “Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro.” In strong words usually reserved for CNN, President Trump added, “The Radical Left Democrats, working closely with their beloved partner, the Fake News Media, is using every trick in the book to SILENCE a majority of our Country. They have all out campaigns against @FoxNews hosts who are doing too well.”

The anger didn’t stop with the president. Fox stories posted on Facebook were inundated with angry comments from Pirro’s fans who want Judge Jeanine back.

After the controversial monologue, Fox issued a statement that said, “ We strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar,” the network said in a statement. “They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly.” There was no indication at the time that Pirro’s show was being suspended or canceled.

Pirro was previously rebuked by Fox last year when she appeared onstage with Sean Hannity at a Trump rally in Missouri. Both hosts delivered remarks backing the president prompting Fox to issue a statement saying, “Fox News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events.”

Fox News hosts have repeatedly come under fire for their behavior in recent years. In addition to appearing at the Trump rally, Sean Hannity angered both the network and advertisers when he refused to drop the Seth Rich conspiracy theory, now proven false, in 2017. Tucker Carlson has gotten in trouble for comments made years ago on a shock radio program as well as more recent populist anti-corporate statements that would be more at home on MSNBC than Fox News. Both Hannity and Carlson are still on the air.

Originally published on The Resurgent

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