- Fox News said host Jeanine Pirro’s remarks about Ilhan Omar’s religious observance potentially being “antithetical to the Constitution” don’t reflect the network’s views.
- Pirro’s remarks on her Saturday show were widely condemned, including by Fox News employees.
- In her own statement, Pirro didn’t apologise and said she wanted to “ask a question and start a debate.”
- Pirro has a history of making Islamophobic remarks and professionally associating with people who do the same.
Fox News rebuked its own host Jeanine Pirro on Sunday night for her remarks suggesting that Rep. Ilhan Omar wearing a hijab is “antithetical to the Constitution.”
“We strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar,” Fox News said in a statement. “They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly.”
On her show Saturday, Pirro said that Omar’s religious observance may oppose American values, even though protection for religion is enshrined in the First Amendment.
“Think about it: Omar wears a hijab,” Pirro said. “Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?”
The line was widely condemned. Hufsa Kamal, a Muslim Fox News producer, called Pirro out on Twitter.
@JudgeJeanine can you stop spreading this false narrative that somehow Muslims hate America or women who wear a hijab aren’t American enough? You have Muslims working at the same network you do, including myself. K thx. https://t.co/ZfKhRhlvM3
— Hufsa Kamal (@hufkat) March 10, 2019
Pirro has a history of making inflammatory comments about Muslims. In 2014, she received an award from the Center for Security Policy, a group that promotes anti-Muslim conspiracy theories, according to the Anti-Defamation League. And in a 2015 column for Fox News, she condemned interfaith dialogue programs, the Muslim civil rights advocacy group CAIR, and the fact that Muslims were invited to worship at the national cathedral in Washington, DC.
“They can kill us, but we can’t hurt their feelings?” she wrote, speculating that “There will be efforts to limit our First Amendment – our free speech – to comply with Sharia blasphemy laws which call for death to those who slander the prophet Mohammad.”
Pirro is also a staunch supporter of President Donald Trump,who has spread numerous conspiracy theories about Muslims.
Fox News also released a statement from Pirro, where she didn’t apologise for her comments.
“I did not call Rep. Omar un-American. My intention was to ask a question and start a debate, but of course because one is Muslim does not mean you don’t support the constitution,” she said in the statement. “I invite Rep. Omar to come on my show any time to discuss all of the important issues facing Americans today.”
In a tweet, Omar thanked Fox News but did not commit to going on Pirro’s show.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) March 11, 2019
This is not the first time Fox News publicly reprimanded Pirro. In November, the company said both Pirro and fellow host Sean Hannity were out of line when they appeared with Trump at a campaign rally.
“Fox News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events,” the company said at the time. “We have an extraordinary team of journalists helming our coverage tonight and we are extremely proud of their work. This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed.”
- Read more:
- At least 27 advertisers have stopped advertising on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show in recent months after the host’s controversial comments. Here’s the list.
- The former Fox News editor who scrapped Stormy Daniels’ bombshell story before the 2016 election says the decision ‘was a no-brainer’
- White House Communications Director and former Fox News executive Bill Shine is leaving the Trump administration
- Fox News reporters are dismayed Democrats are blacklisting the network from hosting any 2020 presidential primary debates
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.