The Fox News Channel has suspended Jeanine Pirro’s weekly program —Justice with Judge Jeanine — in response to the conservative host’s recent remarks about Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) use of a hijab, according to a report.
CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter reported Sunday that Pirro’s show was suspended for two weeks, noting that while she may be in the “penalty box,” she has not been fired from the network. Fox News aired a repeat episode of its documentary series Scandalous on Saturday instead of Justice with Judge Jeanine. When asked why Pirro would not appear on air, a Fox News spokesperson told Deadline it would not comment on “internal scheduling matters.”
Pirro was met with criticism after appearing to suggest on her program earlier March that Omar wears a hijab in defiance of the Constitution. “Think about this: She’s not getting this anti-Israel sentiment doctrine from the Democrat Party. So if it’s not rooted in the party, where is she getting it from?” Pirro said in her opening segment. “Think about it. Omar wears a hijab, which according to the Quran 33:59, tells women to cover so they won’t get molested. Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?”
Pirro’s remarks came in response to the freshman congresswoman’s most recent antisemitic outburst, in which she suggested pro-Israel organizations coerce lawmakers into pledging allegiance to a foreign country.
In a statement, Fox News condemned the host’s remarks, saying: “We strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar. They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly.
Fox News released a separate statement from Pirro, who explained her remarks were in no way a suggestion that American Muslims could not be loyal to the country. “I’ve seen a lot of comments about my opening statement from Saturday night’s show and 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. “I invite Rep. Omar to come on my show any time to discuss all of the important issues facing America today.”
On Sunday, President Donald Trump urged Fox News to defend Pirro and Tucker Carlson, who recently came under attack from Media Matters for America for years-old remarks he made to shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge.
“Keep fighting for Tucker, and fight hard for @JudgeJeanine,” the president tweeted. “Your competitors are jealous – they all want what you’ve got – NUMBER ONE. Don’t hand it to them on a silver platter. They can’t beat you, you can only beat yourselves!”