Bright and early we learned that Don Bongino, the expert on cancel culture, was canceled by the powers that be at Fox News. Now, as the sun moves across the sky, we are hearing rumors of Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro following Bongino into the unemployment line. Are these rumors, only? Or, is Fox actually cleaning the hen house, albeit it a day late and a dollar short?

Bongino admitted “the timing’s not great” for the news, according to Mediaite, referring to the optics surrounding Fox News after settling Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against them for $787.5 million.

Maybe Fox News is testing the waters. Or, maybe the right-wing echo chamber just needs to play victim today because now dire predictions of Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro being axed are making the rounds.

I sincerely doubt that Bartiromo or Pirro leaving the network would bother anybody too much.

So far this is all in the rumor mill, albeit with the exception of one highly credible source, which I will get to momentarily.  It will be interesting to see what, if anything, takes place. The right-wing blogosphere has jumped the gun a bit, be warned. THIS HAS NOT HAPPENED YET, ITS JUST RIGHT-WING RUMOR, SHARED WITH YOU AS SUCH.

Now this is intriguing. Dylan Byers at Puck is predicting that this will happen. Byers is a credible source.

So I anticipate one of two things will happen here, or has perhaps already happened: The first possibility is that Fox News C.E.O. Suzanne Scott sits down with Bartiromo and Pirro and anyone else who came up to the line of libel and says, be careful. Alternatively, Rupert and Suzanne have already decided to elegantly and eventually show Bartiromo and/or Pirro the door. Remember, when Rupert was asked during deposition if he believed Fox had endorsed the voter fraud claims, he said, “Not Fox, no. Not Fox. But maybe Lou Dobbs, maybe Maria as commentators… Some of our commentators were endorsing it.” If I’m Maria, that feels like the kiss of death. The last thing on earth that Murdoch wants is to leave himself vulnerable to another $787-million headache.

Speaking of which, Eriq, what do you think happens next, particularly with Smartmatic’s $2.7 billion lawsuit?

Eriq: First of all, if the Smartmatic case doesn’t settle—and settle soon—I’ll be surprised. Fox News will again be facing a jury pool in a liberal state (New York) that, like Delaware, doesn’t cap punitive damages. Also, this next trial would be taking place in the media capital of the world. For reporters, that means there’s no need to get on an Amtrak and book a hotel for six weeks to cover it. What’s more, thanks to the Trump indictment, New York lawmakers are now considering passing legislation that would allow TV cameras in the courtroom. So, the world might see Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Rupert Murdoch, etcetera, getting on the witness stand. It’ll be an even greater spectacle! Fox could get more favorable pretrial treatment from a judge, but I think the Dominion deal sets a framework for Smartmatic and Fox to resolve their differences too.

As for the long term, I think Fox has got a problem on its hands. I agree with you, Dylan, that their editorial strategy is unlikely to change, at least immediately. Some of this will be chalked up to the cost of doing right-wing business. On the other hand, as the public record about the inner thinking at the network expands, it becomes easier and easier to show actual malice—and more enticing for opponents to take a shot. I sense a vulnerability here that I didn’t a few years ago, and I wonder whether Trump has cursed them. Some reflection is necessary. I’m not sure that an extra week of libel training or even some blood sacrifices of a few B-list hosts is going to be enough. But, of course, all bets are off until we know more about who controls this company after Rupert.

It’s not over until it’s over. Dominion and Smartmatic have a lot of other people in their crosshairs. There may well be a blood letting and it is possible that Fox may seek to change its editorializing, but then that puts them back to square one, competition against OAN and Newsmax. If they tone it down, conventional wisdom says the hard core MAGAs will all jump ship.

That may not be the case, however, because Newsmax, OAN, Right Side Broadcasting and whomever else, needs to stay out of slander suits as well. We are only a few days into the post-Dominion settlement world. These things are difficult to calibrate.

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    • When we were stationed in Japan, they ran on loofah and Rush at dinner at the club at the small.base on which we lived. We complained. So did others. The manager agreed (she was frim.Maine and hated them). We got it replaced by oldies music. Everyone’s digestion improved. And no one complained.
      In all.fairness she had turned the sound down on the radio fascists.

  1. Let me continue my rant from another article. They all should be tried for insurrection. All those that gave cover to the big lie should be in jeopardy.

    As I said before ‘when I grow hair on the crest of my head’ I expect to see action.

    • Actual “justice” as you and I might reasonably construe that term, will not be done. But I do think that this post-Dominion world could be an interesting one. Keep people on their toes, in any event.

      It’s all taking shape right now, as we speak. Libel and slander laws may not have changed but definitely a marker has been placed and pre-Dominion, post-Dominion will be spoken of in years to come.

  2. I agree that Pirro and Bartiromo getting the axe would at most provoke a few days outrage but Fox viewers would quickly forget. If, and only if Murdoch gets rid of the big three, the weekday evening hosts will I believe Fox is serious about cleaning house and atoning. Buying out their contracts wouldn’t be cheap. We’re talking maybe as much as a hundred million or so. Then again, Fox has spent the last couple of days shifting stuff around to cut a check (so to speak) for almost EIGHT HUNDRED million. And with Smartmatic lined up to whack ole Rupert’s sagging ball-sack for just as much if not more the one thing he can do do get them to settle for less than Dominion got (or at least no more) is to buy out those contracts and bring in a new set of “talent.” Yes, Fox would also take a hit on their stock price as it would cost them viewers for a while but 2024 isn’t THAT far off and really, where else are the folks who mainline Fox’s disinformation and hate going to go?

    I’m not saying Murdoch would take such action BUT I’ll bet his son has at least considered it and crunched some numbers. Frankly, I’d be surprised if it were to happen but then for too many years now we’ve been a times slipping over into some weird space between the third and fourth dimensions so who knows?

    • Wouldn’t their contracts be null and void if it was proved they lied on live TV ‘harming the public image of the company’?

    • By “the big three,” do you mean Hannity, Carlson and Ingraham?

      Bongino, Bartiromo, and Pirro are one thing, the Fox audience might be able to absorb that pretty quickly. But Hannity, Carlson and Ingraham? Without delivering their audience its nightly dose of catecholamines and dopamines, this might spell real trouble for Fox. I’d really be surprised if they take it that far.

      • The a-holes you cited are the big three I was referring to. That block of time every weekday evening is what I frequently refer to as the Three Hour White Power Hour. Three hours of nasty, spoiled red meat for the MAGA masses. All three are filthy rich (Carlson was born that way) and if they chose would never have to work another day in their lives. Nor would their kids. But they put forth their hateful vision every night. Why? Like many a celebrity they are addicted to the fame. Some people use being famous, having a large block of people that pay attention to them (closely) for good. Then there are those like these people who, lacking in any sense of decency, humanity and frankly limited in talent (much less desire) to be constructive persons use their fame for the worst purposes. Like Fox’s “big three” weekday evening hosts.

        • Amazingly, you were right, at least in part! Tucker bites the dust. I’m sure I am not the only one surprised. And when I say surprised, I mean hornswoggled.

          One down, two to go.

          • I’m not so sure I was right, but rather expressed that I felt unless/until Rupert Murdoch proved he’d proverbially gotten the message by cleaning house, including and especially those prime time hosts we shouldn’t celebrate. I also recall being on the fence about what would happen. I THINK maybe ole Rupert who I think is about to indulge in some whatever with yet another trophy wife might, given his advanced age be starting to say “f**kit” and hand over the reins to his son. Not that he’s any better a human being than his father but Lachlan is pure businessman and the empire is bigger than the U.S. Division we know as Fox News. Lachlan has I’m sure gamed out different scenarios including financial losses Fox would incur from lost viewers (and ad dollars) if big changes were made. He’s even got some good working data from the oh so brief experiment with a tiny bit of truth telling right after the 2020 election. But there’s the long term to think about, and as some are noting Fox has already taken big hits in ad revenue. They can afford more. What keeps them viable are the carriage fees that cable and satellite providers shell out to make Fox part of their packages. The BASIC subscription level! And Fox can count on that revenue stream to continue.

            Still, dumping Carlson is a good start. Hopefully Hannity and Ingraham’s days are numbered too.

  3. Headline reads: “Credible Source says Scott, Pirro, Bartiromo Next.” But that’s not what it says in the text. Scott is not in the mix.

    Dylan Byers, described as “a credible source” is quoted as saying “The first possibility is that Fox News C.E.O. Suzanne Scott sits down with Bartiromo and Pirro and anyone else who came up to the line of libel and says, be careful.”

    Unless the implication is supposed to be that Scott is worried about her own job security and so advises her friends Bartiromo and Pirro to watch their backs too. But if that’s what it means, it’s certainly not obvious. I don’t get that Scott should be worried about her own job. All indications are that Murdoch likes Scott and always has.

  4. Since you got rid of Dan Bongino I will not watch on Saturday nights anymore . If you get rid of any others I will stop watching Fox all together . Newsmax is on in my house Now . If you think by doing this more Dems will watch you , you are f**king crazy then I know lots of Dems and they ALL hate FOX NEWS so you are doing yourself a disservice to yourself and will lose all the republicans and independents for ever as I am an independent and I have a LOUD VOICE . You should be getting rid of Arthel Neville which she is trying to be a reporter or journalist , sorry she belongs on The view that is why I do not watch when she is on , PERIOD GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR RATINGS I HOPE THEY FALL TO THE GROUND . I hope Newsmax picks up Dan bongino because he has a great radio show everyday too that I listen to .


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