Opinion Brief

Joan Rivers vs. Sarah Palin: Censorship at Fox News?

The notorious comedienne claims her "Fox and Friends" appearance was canceled after she called Sarah Palin "stupid." Really?

The latest Sarah Palin-related controversy involves an equally divisive woman: The comic Joan Rivers, who was scheduled to appear, along with daughter Melissa, on "Fox and Friends" this morning to promote the new reality show, "Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best." After their appearance was canceled yesterday, Rivers says she was told Fox execs made the decision because Joan had recently called Palin "stupid" on TMZ and said it was "right to blame" Palin for the Arizona shootings. Is that a plausible explanation? (Watch Joan Rivers give her side)

This is clearly Palin-ordered censorship: "Fox News is protecting their investment" in the former Alaska governor who can't take any sort of criticism, though she certainly dishes it out, says Sarah Jones at PoliticusUSA. But if the network "is going to disinvite everyone who thinks Palin is dumb, they’re going to be hard-pressed to find guests other than the KoolAid-drinking far right.""Joan Rivers banned from Fox News over Palin comment"

No, it was just a booking issue: This was a snafu, not a snub, Fox insists. "Our booker mistakenly canceled Joan's appearance instead of re-scheduling her for Friday's show," says "Fox and Friends" executive producer Lauren Peterson in a statement made to TheWrap. Fox says it's in the process of booking Rivers for an upcoming show."Exclusive: No, Joan Rivers is not banned from Fox News"

"A likely story!": I don't buy Fox's booking mix-up excuse, says Alex Pareene at Salon. It's "classic damage control," and it just shows "that the only woman in America more powerful than Sarah Palin is Joan Rivers." "Scandal: Fox cancels Joan Rivers for Palin insult!"

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