Did Fox News terminate Judge Jeanine Pirro's contract for her show, "Justice with Judge Jeanine?" No, that's not true: Pirro still hosts her show and is a legal analyst for Fox News Channel. This is a work of satire pushed by a liberal troll of conservatives, and Pirro's show airs on Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET. She's been with Fox News since 2006 and is currently based out of New York.
The claim originated from an article (archived here) where it was published by Potratriots Unite on March 21, 2019, under the title "It's Official: Fox News Terminates Judge Pirro's Contract. It opened:
Fox News is preparing to announce that it will end Judge Jeannine Pirro's contract, without giving her the right to plead her case. The decision, which comes down from Newscorp, was made by Rupert Murdoch himself:
'We have new stockholders, and they're not too keen on calling a sitting Congresswoman a terrorist. Call it common courtesy. Sure, our viewers are hateful towards Muslamics, but that doesn't mean we have to stoke the fire.'
The statement assumes a serious policy shift at Fox, from the network that urged Obama to use the term 'radical Islamic terrorists' to the network that won't use the term itself. It's really very sad.
This is what some social media users saw:
While Pirro is still a part of the network, there was a controversy involving her temporary suspension from hosting her show in March of 2019. She was taken off the air after making anti-Islamic comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, questioning whether the Congresswoman was still loyal to the U.S. if she wore a hijab:
'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?'
At the time, President Donald Trump took to Twitter, defending Pirro and hoping she'd be reinstated.
But after about two weeks, Pirro returned to Fox. She made no mention of her comments in her first episode back on the air. A statement came out both by Fox and Pirro, though many were angered that Pirro never formally apologized.
There was no mention of Pirro getting any cosmetic surgery or receiving a payout from Fox, as the fake article says.
Potratriots Unite is part of the "America's Last Line of Defense" network of satire websites run by self-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair from Maine along with a loose confederation of friends and allies. Blair has been in a feud with fact-checking website Snopes for some time now and has also criticized other fact-checkers in the past who labeled his work "fake news" instead of satire. In reaction to this, he has recently rebranded all his active websites and Facebook pages so they carry visible disclaimers everywhere.
Every site in the network has an about page that reads (in part):
Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with "comedy":
The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site's pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical. See above if you're still having an issue with that satire thing.
Articles from Blair's sites frequently get copied by "real" fake news sites that often omit the satire disclaimer and any other hints the stories are fake. Blair has tried to get these sites shut down in the past, but new ones keep cropping up.
Here is a video of Blair explaining how his process works:
If you are interested in learning more about Blair and the history of his sites, here is something to get you started:
STORY UPDATED: check for updates below. Yesterday Eli Saslow at the Washington Post wrote a fantastic article about Christopher Blair, a man from Maine who has been trolling conservatives and Trump supporters online for years and occasionally even made a living out of it.
If you see one of his stories on a site that does not contain a satire disclaimer, assume it is fake news. If you do see the satire disclaimer, it is, of course, also fake news.
NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes potatriotsunite.com as:
A site that publishes false stories and hoaxes that are often mistaken for real news, part of a network named America's Last Line of Defense run by hoax perpetrator Christopher Blair.
According to NewsGuard, the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.
We wrote about potatriotsunite.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:
- Fake News: Michelle Obama Is NOT The New Face of Versace Cosmetics
- Fake News: NOT Due to Impeachment, Pelosi Did NOT Halt Trump's Presidential Salary
- Fake News: Don Imus Did NOT Leave $2 Million To Trump's Re-Election Campaign In His Will
- Fake News: Impeachment Begins - Pelosi Did NOT Order President Confined To White House
- Fake News: Pelosi DID NOT Say Dems Will 'Shut It All Down' If They Don't Get Their Way On Impeachment