Was Andrea Tantaros outnumbered on Outnumbered?
Tantaros, the co-host of that political chat show airing weekdays at noon Eastern time on the Fox News Channel featuring four female panelists and #oneluckyguy in the middle of the couch, has been mysteriously absent from the show since last Tuesday.
[See updates below]
The timing is very odd in that her book Tied Up in Knots: How Getting What We Wanted Made Women Miserable was officially published the day before, and under ordinary circumstances, she (or any other similarly situated FNC personality/author) would be aggressively hyping the book on various Fox platforms as well as other media outlets.
Internet speculation, so far unsubstantiated, suggests that either Fox executives were displeased with her open support of Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy or that something in her new book ran counter to Fox policy. The latter seems unlikely, however, in that network lawyers presumably would have vetted the manuscript first.
It’s also possible that the dispute is about salary or other perks or issues on the set (hardly unheard of in the egocentric TV business) moving forward.
Although Fox News hosts such as Bill O’Reilly, Howard Kurtz, and especially Sean Hannity also lean toward The Donald, Fox News has given a large megaphone to many Trump bashing, pro-Ted Cruz conservative pundits, and several of its anchors have also been almost giddy about the possibility of a brokered or contested convention that could deny Trump a first-ballot nomination on the GOP presidential ticket.
Tantaros’ Twitter feed, while still active, has offered no explanation for her abrupt absence from the Fox News airwaves, Outnumbered or the other FNC shows on which she regularly appears. There are also reports that she cancelled some previously scheduled radio interviews about the book.
Tantaros (who last year was rumored to be romantically linked to musician Dave Navarro) apparently went unmentioned during the Outnumbered two-year anniversary show.
— The Last Great Stand (@LastGreatStand) May 2, 2016
Last week, TVNewser reported, Fox News issued a brief and vague statement about the status of Andrea Tantaros.
“Issues have arisen regarding Andrea’s contract, and Fox News Channel has determined it best that she take some time off. She is still under contract with the network.”
Although it would be contrary to the conventional mainstream media narrative, according to the Gateway Pundit, Fox News has lost its dominant market share, including in the advertiser-favored 25-54 age cohort, to CNN because of its perceived anti-Trump bias, perhaps starting all the way back to the August 2015 GOP debate when Megyn Kelly famously accused Trump, more or less, of being a misogynist. After feuding with her for months, however, Donald Trump has agreed to a nationally televised sit-down with Megyn Kelly to be aired on the Fox broadcast network on May 17.
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The Cable Game website has suggested that Tantaros may have alienated one of the bosses at Fox News and that the career consequences could be far-reaching.
“The Cable Gamer thinks it’s no coincidence that Andrea’s forced vacation began the same day her book promotions were supposed to start. She has a reputation for being feisty, maybe even a little pushy (she managed to promote herself from the gaggle of rotating Outnumbered panelists to a permanent role, on a par with journalists Harris Faulkner and Sandra Smith). Yet she has been uncharacteristically quiet, both on social media and in promoting her book. (Harper Collins can’t be pleased to see the premiere week go down the drain without any detectable on-air publicity.) Since Andrea was reminded she is ‘still under contract with the network’ that could mean Fox decided not to give her the customary waiver to promote her book on other outlets. Surely she would be doing promotional appearances if she had permission. All of this suggests a big blow-up between Andrea Tantaros and the Fox News powers that be—maybe involving the promotion of the book…The Cable Gamer has a feeling we’re only seeing the tip of this iceberg, and things may not end well for Andrea Tantaros.”
— MR (@MikeRotondo86) May 2, 2016
Earlier this year on Outnumbered, Tantaros disclosed the pushback she was receiving from other conservatives for supporting Donald Trump.
“They have been doing this. Specifically, Charles Cooke, who is a writer for National Review, he tweeted out that I should give my job to somebody else. Also, I saw a tweet, it was a meme by Kevin Williamson of National Review trying to make me seem stupid. There was a girl talking about biorhythms, or something. So I’ve gotten my fair share as well from folks on the right and the left and in the media calling me stupid and Trump supporters stupid…I should give up my job according to men in the Republican Party.”
Parenthetically, in March, former Ted Cruz aide and CNN commentator Amanda Carpenter proposed in the Conservative Review a boycott or blacklisting of any lawmaker or private citizen publicly jumping aboard the Trump train.
“Born Andreana Kostantina Tantaros to a Greek immigrant father and an Italian-American mother, the girl who was raised with a strong work ethic and even a stronger love of country was no stranger to controversy during her six years at Fox News,” the Examiner asserted.
What do you think the real reason is behind the sudden vacation of Andrea Tantaros from the “fair and balanced” Fox News Channel?
[Update: In an interview with Boston Herald Radio, Andrea Tantaros broke her silence, although she pointed out that she couldn’t comment about discussions with Fox News or when she would return to the Outnumbered TV couch or any other FNC program.]
“I believe very, very deeply in free speech. And I believe very, very deeply not just in the First Amendment, but I believe strongly in my book. And I stand behind my book, and I stand behind the beliefs I espouse on Fox News, and I believe that in this country everybody should be able to stand up for what they believe in. And that’s all I’m going to say about that…I’m just gong to say stay tuned, and I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing, and supporting who I’m supporting, and saying what I’m saying. Because we’ve got a right to do it in this country, no matter what others believe.”
[Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]
Added: In the clip from the Steve Malzberg Show on Newsmax TV to promote her new book, Andrea Tantaros explained that she is not allowed to talk about the situation with Fox News.
[Update 2: A petition to “Bring Back Andrea Tantaros” now has more than 4,000 signatures at this writing. “With the release of her book, Tied Up in Knots, Tantaros managed to stay in the news cycle with a story of her calling rival Mika Brzezinski ‘the nastiest woman on the Upper East Side’ after the Morning Joe co-host reportedly pretended not to recognize her at a charity function,” BizPac Review observed.]