United States Attorney General William Barr talked to media mogul Rupert Murdoch about “muzzling” Fox News contributor Andrew Napolitano after the legal analyst made critical remarks about President Donald Trump, according to CNN media reporter Brian Stelter’s new book.
According to The Guardian, which obtained an advance copy of Stelter’s “Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth,” the president was “so incensed” by criticisms made by Napolitano in fall 2019 “that he had implored Barr to send Rupert a message in person … about ‘muzzling the judge.’ [Trump] wanted the nation’s top law enforcement official to convey just how atrocious Napolitano’s legal analysis had been.”
Barr delivered this message to Murdoch in a meeting that took place at Murdoch’s home in New York in October 2019, during which they discussed media consolidation and criminal justice reform, Stetler’s book says, according to The Guardian.
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Stetler’s book said that Barr’s words to Murdoch “carried a lot of weight,” and though “no one was explicitly told to take Napolitano off the air,” according to The Guardian, Napolitano — a New Jersey superior court judge who joined Fox News in 1998 — lost his slot on a daytime show and was excluded from coverage of Trump’s impeachment earlier this year.
Napolitano was critical of Trump for, among other things, his dealings with Ukraine, writing in an October 2019 column, “The criminal behavior to which Trump has admitted is much more grave than anything alleged or unearthed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and much of what Mueller revealed was impeachable.”
A spokesperson for Fox News did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment. The Department of Justice did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Fall TV 2020: All the Premiere Dates for New and Returning Shows – So Far (Photos)
Here’s when 51 broadcast, cable and streaming series debut and come back
Fall will be here before we know it, and it’s safe to say that when it arrives, everyone will still be staying at home as much as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Luckily, dozens of new and returning shows are premiering this autumn to keep you company. TheWrap has rounded up all the dates we know — so far — for Fall TV shows’ debuts. We will continue to update the list as more become available.
For the purposes of this gallery, we’ve designated Sept. 1 as the beginning of fall rather than the official Sept. 22 start, since “Fall TV” is sure to be more loosely defined this year.
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