Last week “Judge” Jeanine Pirro launched into such a stunningly racist attack against Congresswoman Ilhan Omar in particular, and against Muslim Americans in general, it was jarring even by Fox News standards. Fox quickly released a statement distancing itself from Pirro’s tirade. Now she’s gone missing from the air altogether.
Jeanine Pirro’s show has been pulled off the air tonight, in favor of a rerun of some other Fox News program. The decision was apparently made at the last minute, as Variety managed to suss out that Fox had been running advertisements for a new Pirro episode as recently as a few days ago. So what’s really going on here?
We’ve seen this strategy from Fox News a number of times before. When controversial hosts Bill O’Reilly and Laura Ingraham came up against huge scandals that were causing advertisers to flee, Fox News sent them each on a conveniently timed vacation in the hope that their absence from the airwaves would cause the controversy to die down, so they could then return. It worked for Ingraham, who is still on the air, albeit far less profitably. It didn’t work for O’Reilly, who was fired after his “vacation” didn’t put a dent in his scandals.
So we’ll see if Fox News has merely taken Judge Jeanine Pirro off the air for tonight, or if this ends up being permanent. Considering that Tucker Carlson is losing advertisers by the day, and Sean Hannity is caught up in the Trump-Cohen scandal, will there be anyone left at Fox before much longer? In any case, Pirro is one of Donald Trump’s favorites. Perhaps he’ll be lashing out at Fox News before the night’s end.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report