Fox News isn’t making many friends in the music industry lately. After Fox News commentator Sandy Rios likened Lady Gaga to child molesters (seriously, see it for yourself), the news network has drawn the ire of LL Cool J and Toby Keith for linking both artists to Sarah Palin in an upcoming special.
This much is true—LL Cool J sat down with Fox in 2008 for a program called Real American Stories. However, the show, now hosted by the politically polarizing Sarah Palin, recycled LL’s interview for a special scheduled to air this Thursday. A promo for the show made it appear as though the rapper/actor had personally sat down with Palin, announcing, ”Sarah Palin profiles these real Americans who have given back, given all, and have never given up. Plus, they’re famous faces, now hear the real story behind their incredible lives.”
Well, we’re going out on a limb and assuming that LL (nee Todd James Smith) ain’t a big fan of the Alaskan, because he clearly wants no part of this. He tweeted: “Fox lifted an old interview I gave in 2008 to someone else & are misrepresenting to the public in order to promote Sarah Palins Show. WOW.”
Unless you don’t count Twitter an official platform (and if you don’t, get hip to the 21st century, guys), here’s what LL’s rep had to say in a statement:
“Contrary to what was reported, LL Cool J was never scheduled to be a guest on Real American Stories with Sarah Palin this week. The show had planned to use an interview from 2008 that was being repurposed without LL’s permission. This statement is not a reflection of any feelings LL has toward Fox News or Ms. Palin, whom he has never met, rather a clarification of what we have seen published in the media.”
At least Fox News can tell when to back off. Not only did they pull his image and name from the promo, they nixed the entire interview segment from the program. Said the network in a snarky statement:
“Real American Stories features uplifting tales about overcoming adversity and we believe Mr. Smith’s interview fit that criteria. However, as it appears that Mr. Smith does not want to be associated with a program that could serve as an inspiration to others, we are cutting his interview from the special and wish him the best with his fledgling acting career.”
Fledgling? ‘Scuse you, Fox News. LL Cool J has acted in dozens of movies and TV shows, and even stars in his own CBS hit, NCSI:LA. Don’t be a bunch of bitter Bettys just because you weren’t cast in Deep Blue Sea.
Another musician left scratching their heads and wagging their fingers at Fox News is country singer Toby Keith, who also had no idea his two-year old interview with Real American Stories would be re-aired in a much more Palin-promoting context. “Toby was not asked to participate nor has he ever done an interview with Sarah Palin,” Keith’s publicist told Pop Eater.
Can you blame Fox News for trying? It’s probably incredibly hard for anybody to take the moose-hunter and her fledgling hosting career seriously.