Donald Trump once praised Fox Business news anchor Lou Dobbs on Twitter, saying, “Nobody loves America more than Lou. He had a large and loyal following that will be watching closely for his next move, and that following includes me” (via The Independent). Now it appears that Trump will have one less show to watch — and one less advocate with a media platform, as Fox Business announced it has canceled Lou Dobbs Tonight, its highest-rated show (via The Washington Post).
The end of Dobbs’ show comes one day after Smartmatic — the election software company — launched a defamation lawsuit against Fox News for an eye-watering $2.7 billion in damages.
CNN says the programming change, which takes effect Monday, might be considered bewildering because Dobbs was Fox Business’ most popular on-air talent. But Dobbs’ pro-Trump propaganda was said to be making some within the company uncomfortable. The show was problematic because while its ratings were high, the numbers weren’t translating into ad revenues because companies didn’t want to be tied to the show and its content.
Dobbs' removal was celebrated on social media
The Los Angeles Times, which first reported the cancellation, says Lou Dobbs is still under contract for Fox, but he’s not likely to appear on any of its networks again. This move is seen as part of the “pay or play” practice carried out by TV networks, which can keep a host off the air, but leave them on the payroll so they cannot work anywhere else (via CNN).
Fox’s decision to take Dobbs off the air was greeted with giddy posts on social media. Some celebs even engaged in one-upmanship; while actor George Takei tweeted: “My Lou Dobbs haiku / Smartmatic sues their asses / Bye Lou Dobbs ha ha.” Lawyer and one of Project Lincoln’s founders George Conway replied: “Ok here’s a limerick; There once was a man named Lou / Who said some things that weren’t true / So the people he slimed / Got some lawyers and primed / A lawsuit that’ll make him turn blue.”
The Conway limerick inspired others to take to Twitter to use poetry to address the dismissal; one even thought to post a prediction about Fox News’ Judge Jeanine Pirro: “There once was a woman Jeanine, / Who spouted some things really mean. / Some lawyers took note / A lawsuit they wrote / How this ends can be quickly foreseen.” Pirro is also a co-defendant in Smartmatic’s $2.7 billion lawsuit against Fox News (via The New York Times).
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