FNC Ices Napolitano…With a “Zakaria Out” Looming On The Horizon.

The Wall Street Journal’s Joe Flint writes about FNC benching Andrew Napolitano over his as still unsubstantiated claims that the Obama had the British wiretap Donald Trump…

Fox News is temporarily benching its legal analyst Andrew Napolitano, a former New Jersey Superior Court Judge, over his unconfirmed report last week that British intelligence had wiretapped Trump Tower for President Barack Obama, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Usually a frequent contributor, Mr. Napolitano hasn’t appeared on Fox News since Thursday, when he made the comments.

The commentary was cited by the White House as it continues to make the case that President Obama was trying to sabotage the Trump campaign. The British intelligence agency GCHQ, which rarely makes public statements, said last week the assertion by Mr. Napolitano was “utterly ridiculous.”

Fox News also attempted to distance itself from Mr. Napolitano’s remarks with anchor Shepard Smith saying on-air Friday that the channel could not confirm the commentary and “knows of no evidence of any kind that the now-president of the United States was surveilled at any time, in any way, full stop.”

FNC had little choice in the matter and in benching Napolitano the network probably did enough given the state of cable news where Fareed Zakaria can still have a job at CNN. So I’m not too interested in any choruses of “FNC should fire Napolitano”.

Of course I think FNC should fire him. He brought FNC’s journalism wing into the crosshairs with his sketchy antics by invoking Fox News by name in his reports when he was the one who sourced it. The correct course of action is to cut him loose. But why should FNC do the right thing and invite further scrutiny and another round of headlines when it can just ice Napolitano for a few days and then bring him back and call the matter “closed” ala CNN and Zakaria?

CNN established the standard here for journalistic transgressions. FNC will now probably follow suit and get away with it because CNN got away with it. I hope I’m wrong here. But I probably won’t be.

10 Responses to “FNC Ices Napolitano…With a “Zakaria Out” Looming On The Horizon.”

  1. […] Judge Napolitano absent from Fox News airwaves.  ICN: A firing offense? […]

  2. Napolitano’s big mistake wasn’t lying about the Brits wiretapping Trump; that kind of thing happens all the time on FNC. The problem was he said ‘Fox News has learned that the Brits wiretapped Trump’.

    Napolitano can spout whatever crazy conspiracy theory he wants as long as he credits “my sources” – as he did when he first vomited out this drivel – and not the news division of FNC. Big mistake.

    As for comparing this story to Fareed Zakaria’s problems at CNN; there is no comparison. Zakaria’s “transgression” was a personal matter having nothing directly to do with CNN and where even the supposed victims weren’t all that upset The situation at FNC was one where a networks news division was falsely credited as a source, by Napolitano, for him putting a totally unproven and false claim on the air. It’s apples and grenades.

  3. imnotblue Says:

    I think a better comparison might be David Schuster, who frequently got “scoops” that turned out to be completely bogus.

    His star continued to rise.

  4. “I think a better comparison might be David Schuster, who frequently got “scoops” that turned out to be completely bogus.”

    ^^I seriously can’t think of, or find online, any “scoops” – let alone “completely bogus scoops” – that Schuster had in his career on cable news that would be similar to Napolitano saying the Brits wiretapped Trump Tower on orders from Obama. Care to give us two or three examples since you say it happened “frequently”.

  5. Sorry blue your example isn’t the same. Shuster expressed ‘his’ opinion based on ‘his’ sources and that of Rove’s and other lawyers not MSNBC or NBC sources. That’s what makes Napolitano different than Shuster and Zakaria. I await your next example.

  6. imnotblue Says:

    How is that any different?

  7. Napolitano wasn’t benched for what he claimed – crazy as it was – but rather that he claimed as his source Fox News.

    If Zakaria or Shuster claimed that Trump was a Russian mole, that would be their opinion and they would have to prove it. If they claimed CNN or MSNBC/NBC News was the source of the claim then they would instantly be looking for work.

    Napolitano can say almost anything he wants on FNC and he will keep his job – as long as he doesn’t claim the Fox News Division as his source. You can bet Chris Wallace, Shep Smith, Bret Baier and other straight news reporters on FNC were not happy about being credited as the source of Napolitano’s batsh*t crazy claim.

  8. imnotblue Says:

    Except Shuster wasn’t an opinion guy, he was a reporter. So his false predictions came with the weight of MSNBC’s straight news division… ie: the same thing.

  9. “Except Shuster wasn’t an opinion guy, he was a reporter. So his false predictions came with the weight of MSNBC’s straight news division… ie: the same thing.”

    ^^ No blue it never “came with the weight of MSNBC’s straight news division.” Shuster gave the source for his belief that Rove would be prosecuted – Rove’s and other lawyers – and stated it as such; he never mentioned MSNBC straight news division.

    Napolitano stated his opinion as factual news because he stated his source was Fox News itself. He cited no other source for the story on that occasion. It’s not the same thing but you knew that already.

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