Zev Chafets, author of “Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One,” is saying that his two scheduled appearances on Fox News Channel were scrubbed, and that negotiations for a third came to an abrupt halt, once news of Limbaugh’s less-than-flattering portrayal of FNC personality Bill O’Reilly became public.
According to a report from Yahoo! News, Chafets did not provide evidence to back up his claim, which is that post-book release bookings on “Fox and Friends” and with Greta Van Susteren’s “On the Record” were canceled, and discussions with Sean Hannity ceased.
In the book, Limbaugh compared O’Reilly to fictional “Mary Tyler Moore Show” news anchor Ted Baxter. Chafets is now expressing surprise at the turmoil it is causing since he says that comparison was in his original New York Times Magazine profile article on Limbaugh, which was published back in 2008.
RBR-TVBR observation: If an individual made critical comments about an issue of great public import and was therefore denied access to news and commentary programs they might otherwise be invited to participate in, that would raise ethical questions.
But when the denial is tied to a book promo tour and the issue is a name-calling spat between two celebrities, as is the case here, we see no problem with FNC keeping Chafets off the air. If he and Limbaugh want to promote the book on FNC, we’re sure the News Corp. sales department would love to have a chat with them.