LL Cool J segment is pulled from Sarah Palin's 'Real American Stories'

By Lisa de Moraes
Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fox News Channel has dumped an interview with James Todd Smith -- better known as LL Cool J -- out of Thursday's debut of the Sarah Palin-hosted occasional series called "Real American Stories," after the rapper-turned-actor whined about it on his Twitter account. That's real American!

In its promotional material for the new series, scheduled to unveil at 10 p.m., FNC said the show would "feature real-life tales of overcoming adversity throughout the American landscape." Among those to be featured were country singer Toby Keith, who, FNC said, will explain the inspiration behind his song "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue," and Cool J, who was going to speak about his success in this country in a segment called "In Their Own Words."

Except Cool J actually spoke to FNC about his success in this country back in 2008, not recently.

As part of a Web project.

A Web project also called "Real American Stories."

Tuesday, when Cool J got wind of his being a star of the Sarah Palin show, he tweeted his outrage:

"Fox lifted an old interview I gave in 2008 to someone else & are misrepresenting to the public in order to promote Sarah Palin's Show. WOW," he tweeted.

Wednesday morning, when The Reporters Who Cover Television got wind of Cool J's tweet, an eczema of news reports broke out on the Web, whacking FNC for perpetrating this outrage on the co-star of CBS's "NCIS: Los Angeles."

FNC explained in a statement Wednesday that it "did not commit to restrictions on its interview with Mr. Smith so therefore the network did not need his permission to use the interview in this program."

But at some point during the day, the network decided to cut bait and pulled the Cool J interview from the show -- and from its Web site, explaining:

"Real American Stories features uplifting tales about overcoming adversity and we believe Mr. Smith's [also known as LL Col J, to everyone] interview fit that criteria. However, as it appears that Mr. Smith does not want to be associated with a program that could serve as an inspiration to others, we are cutting his interview from the special and wish him the best with his fledgling acting career."

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