The war between Fox News and CNN raged on Monday morning, this time with the hosts of New Day condemning Jeanine Pirro’s Islamophobic rant and questioning why the Murdoch operation’s news anchors aren’t quitting.
Co-hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota agreed that the comments, in which Pirro claimed Rep. Ilhan Omar might support Sharia law—because she wears a traditional head covering—were “just hate” and “fear-based.”
On Justice With Judge Jeanine on Saturday night, Pirro said: “Think about it: Omar wears a hijab. Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?”
“When I worked at Fox, Sharia law was one of their favorite boogeymen,” said Camerota. “Roger Ailes was very exercised about Sharia law, and so we did a lot of segments on Sharia law. None of them were fact-based or they didn’t—there was no emphasis on them being fact-based.”
“They were fear-based,” commented Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s Reliable Sources.
Camerota continued: “That’s familiar old language, and I guess the only thing that’s surprising is that Fox put out a statement condemning Jeanine Pirro. It took them 24 hours.”
Just last week, Fox host Tucker Carlson took swings at CNN’s Stelter and political commentator Ana Navarro, calling the former a “eunuch” and the latter “a windbag.”
Stelter, for his part, said he hoped Pirro was listening.
“If she happens to be watching, I would say, ‘What are you so afraid of? What are you so scared of?’” Stelter asked. “The Fox narrative for years has been about fear of Muslims, fear of minorities.”
Berman chimed in: “I guarantee you Jeanine Pirro knows the truth here. It’s not just ignorance. It’s just hate.”
John Avlon, former editor in chief of The Daily Beast and current CNN senior political analyst at CNN, echoed those sentiments: “It’s not a slip-up. It’s intentional.”
Stelter added: “This is something that’s been going on for a very long time at Fox. Where are the news anchors on Fox saying, ‘I don’t want to work in this kind of place’? ‘Jeanine Pirro should not be allowed to be on this network reading this script that’s been put in the teleprompter.’ Where are those news anchors today?”
No news anchors came forward, but Fox News producer Hufsa Kamal Khan stuck her neck out to criticize Pirro over the weekend, posting on Twitter: “Can you stop spreading this false narrative that somehow Muslims hate America or women who wear a hijab aren’t American enough? You have Muslims working at the same network you do, including myself. K thx.”
Pirro issued a statement late Sunday claiming that she “did not call Rep. Omar un-American” and only intended to “ask a question and start a debate.”
“But of course because one is Muslim does not mean you don’t support the Constitution,” she said.