« Previous Post | Show Tracker Home | Next Post »

Fox News cuts LL Cool J from Sarah Palin's new show after he says he didn't agree to participate [updated]

The announcement by Fox News on Tuesday that LL Cool J would be featured in the debut episode of a new show hosted by Sarah Palin provoked surprise among many – including, apparently, the rapper himself, who wrote on his Twitter account late Tuesday that he had not participated in the show.

“Fox lifted an old interview I gave in 2008 to someone else & are misrepresenting to the public in order to promote Sarah Palins Show,” he tweeted. “WOW.”

Fox News said the program, “Real American Stories,” included an interview the performer gave to the network as part of an online project of the same name that launched during the 2008 election. But producers are now excising his interview from the show after LL Cool J, whose real name is James Todd Smith, raised objections.

"'Real American Stories' features uplifting tales about overcoming adversity and we believe Mr. Smith’s interview fit that criteria," said a spokeswoman for the network. "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."

[Updated at 9:24 a.m.: LL Cool J did not immediately respond to requests for comment made through his Twitter account or his manager. On Wednesday morning, while the news that Fox had cut him from the show was breaking, the star of "NCIS: Los Angeles" tweeted that "Nobody can bring you peace but yourself."] 

The “Real American Stories” website is still up, now as an extension of the television series. The site currently includes profiles of Americans, including some celebrities, who share their lessons about fulfilling their dreams and helping others. (The LL Cool J interview cannot currently be found on the site.)

The cable show hosted by Palin is being cast as program in the same vein, focused on inspirational people who have overcome obstacles in life. The premiere episode, which airs Thursday at 7 p.m. PDT, is set to feature a piece about a Marine who sacrificed his life for his fellow soldiers, and a story about a stockbroker who helps underprivileged youth pay for college.

“As Americans, we aspire to greatness,” Palin says in a promo for the show. “When we dream, we dream big. We reach out, we pick each other up. We pride ourselves on our make up and our character.”

In its original release about the show, Fox News said LL Cool J and former General Electric Chief Executive Jack Welch would be featured in the first episode, talking about making it in America as part of a segment called “In Their Own Words.” The network did not specify when the interviews were conducted.

Palin serves as host of the program and conducted some studio interviews, a role that is part of her larger deal as a regular contributor to Fox News. The premiere episode of “Real American Stories” is re-airing Sunday, but does not yet have a regular time slot.

[Updated at 9:24 a.m.: None of the well-known figures who will be featured on the show, including country music star Toby Keith, were interviewed by Palin. But the former Alaska governor did conduct interviews before a live studio audience with people with stories of inspiration, such as a girl who risked her life to save a stranger.]

[Updated at 1:54 p.m.: A representative for LL Cool J said the performer was given no notice that his interview was going to be included in Palin’s show. “The show had planned to use an interview from 2008 that was being repurposed without LL’s permission,” said Keesha Johnson, a spokeswoman for the rapper. “This statement is not a reflection of any feelings LL has toward Fox News or Ms. Palin, whom he has never met, rather a clarification of what we have seen published in the media.”

The network maintained it had a right to use the footage. “Fox News did not commit to restrictions on its interview with Mr. Smith, so therefore the network did not need his permission to use the interview in this program,” said Bill Shine, executive vice president for programming.]

-- Matea Gold

Comments () | Archives (22)

Way to be professional Fox, your spokeperson takes a shot at LL when it was your companies' fault for not representing the show correctly. Anyone would be upset if they saw their name attached to something that they didn't participate in. And his "fledgling" acting career is a little more than that. I don't even follow the guy but I know he's starred in his own TV show, been in more than a few movies and now stars in a hit CBS show, not to mention a 20 year music career. Just stay professional and admit your mistake without taking potshots.

LL was deep, deep into that but now he is in his own private mind garden. People, hold on. LL Cool J has ruined us all, and now all we have is each other.

Fake News and Palin caught misrepresenting the truth...color me surprised!

I hate Palin. She's a phoney, a liar, a diva, and a quitter. She's self-serving, self-obsessed, and self-righteous. She's a hypocrite and usually, a blithering idiot. These are my observations and beliefs, and I know the racist tea-partiers will disagree with me.

Fledgling acting career? He's been acting for years. Sarah Palin on the other hand.... didn't finish her stint as Governor and is promoting her NEW (fledgling) show. That's a pretty obvious dig towards LL Cool J

I cannot believe the spokesperson for Fox News was that unprofessional in her statement. LL Cool J did not take any shots at the network--he simply said he never agreed to participate. Then Fox hits below the belt. What kind of professionalism is that?

Looks like some network flunkie did a disservice to both Sarah Palin and LL Cool J. They threw together a show using two year old interview footage then tried to recycle it as something new. In another bad move by Fox, they have to insult LL Cool J, by wishing him well in his "fledgling television career" Nevermind that LL Cool J is a lead castmember of the number one new one hour drama on TV (a show that draws more viewers, BTW, then anyone on Fox News, in any time slot)

Palin's promos for the show have talked about the grandiose vision of American greatness, stating that when Americans dream, they dream big. I'm sure she'd agree that there's no great aspiration in the efforts of some Fox News producers to pull together some old interview footage from 2008 and repackage it as a show.

It is bad enough Fox gave Sarah April Fool's Day as the premiere of her new show, they can and should have done better by her than to cobble together some old footage and pretend to bill it as new guests or interviews.

Fox always gravitates towards misrepresentation. They were recently called out for splicing summer shots of unrelated rallies by the Washington Monument into winter Tea Party rallies. This trickery created the illusion that thousands of conservatives were participating, when it was actually only a few hundred.

By the way, Raj, your comment makes no sense. Please elaborate.

"fledgling" acting career...Fox what are you talking about....He starred in his first sitcom in 1995 on NBC. If I do my math, he's been acting on television for 14+ years...

I am Fox watcher & Palin supporter. I however think it is wrong to take bits & peices & put it together a show to misrepresent also. That said this is the LA Times which skewers the truth too. So I can't imagin they said the fledging career. I thought LL was fair ..It is gettin so hard to know who & whatis the truth. I think all sides especially news orgaizations should not add too or subtract from anything. I amall about carry a camera, video, to have proof or will not believe anything. The same with the congress who have seperate tunnel into capitol CHOSE to be dropped off in middle of T-Pary people with huge gavel any eveyone including Jesse JR video recording every second oping to provoke it as racial could not prove the N word was used15 times,while tons of other videos prove that congressman Lewis walked in front of a man who had his hand cupped yelling and happened to get spittle ..The Man was doing that before Lewis and after..who cups hands to spit? I am sorry Obama is our president because he doesn't care about either side just his agenda while we the people who are neighbors fight among ourselves..

Surprise, surprise! FOX doctored its footage to put a spin on its news article. Of course, all news networks do that, and FOX claims to be "fair and balanced", not truthful and forthright. No one with any brains accepts any news as anything other than sensational spin. FOX spins to the right, others spin to the left, and some of them just spin around in circles. Some like to spin around one person, even if that person calls them "lame."

I understand the audience footage was lifted from a September TeaBagger protest too.

You have got to be kidding ! LL Cool J has every right to object to being used by fox who cetainly does not have his best interests at heart. Fox News represents basest qualities of American culture. Their ,"I know you are but what am I?" intelect has grown more than tiresome.

Way to go sarah,I'll watch

check this: Palin said that tea baggers should stop cars with Obama stickers on them and ask "how's that hopey changey thing workin' out for ya?"

here is a video of how I think this will play out


not surprised at all...FOX and Palin make a good match, both are full of BS

It's Fox News and Sarah Palin. Is it even a surprise that they'd repurpose and repackage stuff from the past and slap a "new and improved" sticker on it? Sorry, Palin, try again. I still don't care what you have to say.

LLCoolJ is beautiful to watch in action, on NCIS Los Angeles, and has a fabulous smile.Sarah Palin is a shrewish, cackling airhead.

"...wish him the best with his fledgling acting career?" That's hilarious--LL Cool J has has had an ongoing acting career for some time now, having done films, commercials, even television series, one of which is currently running. These fools were just being nasty. And I strongly suspect that LL's objection isn't to being associated with this show nearly as much as it's his being unwilling to be associated with the spearhead of the TeaBaggers party, that nasty crone that is spewing such vitriol over the political landscape, and is now taking cover on some pathetic TV show--god only knows who dreamt of that marriage. No doubt it's on Fox, which is probably another point of contention for LL Cool J--Fox is the station of choicefor conservative white bigots. 'Nuff said.

I have a hard time taking Sarah seriously and i am not a democrat or a republican... i am an independent... i disapprove of where our country is headed, some of the recent rhetoric, but this 2 party system leaves us having to choose the lesser of 2 evils...

I think there is nothing wrong with Fox lifting content that it owns and repurposing it, all they had to do was run it by LL and Toby Keith who also was interviewed 2 years back... where Fox made a mistake was to come up with this high school spokeswoman statement... when i saw fledgling i thought wow thats mature... who cares anyway, i will be watching whatever is on espn or food network..

1 2 | »


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.




Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: