The other day we, like the rest of the internet, reported the brow-raising news that Sarah Palin is hosting a special called Real American Stories on Fox News tonight, a show featuring interviews with Toby Keith, LL Cool J and Jack Welch. Many people were surprised to learn this, including LL Cool J, who tweeted:
Fox lifted an old interview I gave in 2008 to someone else & are misrepresenting to the public in order to promote Sarah Palins Show. WOW
Ever-respectful of criticism, Fox News responded with a totally un-snarky press release:
"Real American Stories" features uplifting tales about overcoming adversity and we believe Mr. Smith's interview fit that criteria. 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.
Yowch. (Oh, and it's James Todd Smith — you knew that, right? Ladies love cool James, but James does not love lame ladies also too.)
The story might end here, but this is Sarah Palin we're talking about, so of course there's more…
Elaine Schock, a publicist for Toby Keith said: "I have no idea what interview they are using. Toby's talked to Fox a number of times, and I had no idea that this was going to be on Sarah Palin's special. Fox has never contacted me — not now, not when they were putting this together, not at all. I have no idea what they’re using."
Asked if Mr. Keith was ever interviewed by Ms. Palin, Ms. Schock said, "Absolutely not."
Further investigation reveals that Fox is probably recycling an unrelated Toby Keith interview from January 2009, although Keith's camp claims they had no idea the footage would be used on the Happy Fun America Hour with Sarah Palin. And, since Fox legally owns the tape, there's not much they can do except comment by not commenting…
As for Mr. Keith, Ms. Schock said she had spoken to the singer about his inclusion in the Palin special. Asked his reaction, she said, "I'm not going to comment on what Toby feels about it."
Yep, that's two out of three celebrity guests talking to the media about not intending to be on the show before the show even airs. But as of this morning there's been no word from Jack Welch — so, it's probably safe to assume Sarah Palin really did sit down with him in person for an original Q&A, right?
Tags: Fox, Jack Welch, Sarah Palin, Television, Toby Keith