So Fox News is running a Sarah Palin special tonight. They touted it with a series of special guests, including Toby Keith and LL Cool J. It certainly sounded like Palin would be interviewing, or at least in the same room as, LL Cool J. Except that’s pretty much not true:

Fox lifted an old interview I gave in 2008 to someone else & are misrepresenting to the public in order to promote Sarah Palins [sic] Show. WOW

And one tweet, and the surrounding bad publicity, was all it took for Fox to recut the entire show.

A Fox News spokesperson tells TVNewser, “Real American Stories features uplifting tales about overcoming adversity and we believe Mr. Smith’s interview (LL’s full name is James Todd Smith) 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.”

A note on the claws-out “fledgling acting career” comment. The opening season of LL Cool J’s new show, NCIS: Los Angeles, has averaged around 18 million viewers a week. This is almost 6 times as many viewers as the highest-rated show on Fox News, the O’Reilly Factor, almost seven times as much as Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, 9 times as much as the midday Shepard Smith hour, and 18 times as much as Fox and Friends. Nobody watches cable news, at least not compared to CBS prime-time dramas.

So if I were LL, I’d wish Fox News luck on their fledgling television career.

David Dayen

David Dayen

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