At my request, Fox News sent along this statement involving James Todd Smith, better known as LL Cool J:
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.
Why such a nasty tone about LL, currently co-starring on "NCIS: LA"? Well, it involves Sarah Palin, and is explained in more detail after the jump.
Here's the Fox announcement of a new show hosted by Palin:
FOX News Channel (FNC) will present the first installment of a new series, Real American Stories on Thursday, April 1st at 10:00PM/ET.
Hosted by Sarah Palin, Real American Stories will feature real-life tales of overcoming adversity throughout the American landscape. The debut episode will focus on a range of such stories including a Marine Medal of Honor recipient who gave his life to save his comrades. Also, the special profiles a wealthy stock broker who donates much of his fortune to underprivileged students so they can attend college.
The program will also feature Country singer, Toby Keith, who will explain the inspiration behind his song, “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue.” Additionally, rapper and actor, LL Cool J, and the former Chairman and CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch, will both speak about their success in this country in a segment entitled, “In Their Own Words.” The program will also be presented on Sunday, April 4th at 9:00PM/ET.
But LL began tweeting Tuesday that the show is just recycling an old interview that was not with Palin. A Los Angeles Times account is here. Hence Fox's response.
While Fox's reaction is excessively nasty (and LL has been acting off and on for about 20 years), a need to be fair and balanced requires that I note Fox's announcement does not say specifically that Palin talked to any of the guests. And what constitutes hosting a show varies from program to program, with some hosts simply introducing other people's work, and some involving the host's direct participation in stories.