Fox News announced today that Glenn Beck will end his daily Fox News program. According to the New York Daily News, “Beck will be on tour next week. His time slot will be filled by Judge Andrew Napolitano and Eric Bolling, and each could be potential long-term replacements.”
While Beck's program is frequently marked by bizarre conspiracy theories and incendiary rhetoric, it's worth remembering that Napolitano -- the current host of Fox Business' Freedom Watch -- also subscribes to conspiracy theories, including the belief that the government is lying about the attacks on September 11 (aka “9-11 Truth” ). Despite Beck's condemnation of 9-11 Truthers, Napolitano has regularly filled in for Beck.
Speaking on a leading conspiracy theory show in November, Napolitano said that it's “hard for me to believe that” World Trade Center Building 7 “came down by itself” -- a central tenet of 9-11 conspiracy theories -- and claimed that “twenty years from now, people will look at 9-11 the way we look at the assassination of JFK today. It couldn't possibly have been done the way the government told us.”
Napolitano made similar remarks last May, when he said that that we “should be suspicious” of the government's account of 9-11. As evidence, Napolitano said that the government has a history of lying and cited as an example that it is now “taken for granted that the government was involved in some way in the assassination of JFK.”
In March 2010, Napolitano hosted truther Jesse Ventura on FoxNews.com, where he was given an unchallenged platform to push 9-11 conspiracy theories. At the conclusion of that interview, Napolitano wondered if “someday we will look on 9-11 the way we look on the JFK assassination today, that is, where people who question the government's involvement will be mainstreamed, rather than looked upon as an extremist fringe.” Napolitano also hosted Ventura in October on Fox Business; during the interview, Ventura said he was investigating the “alleged Pentagon plane” attack, to which Napolitano replied, “we'll be watching.” Ventura is scheduled to appear on Freedom Watch tonight.
As CNN noted last year, Napolitano received criticism from the “left and right over” his 9-11 conspiracy theories. But Fox News has treated his views with silence. Indeed, Media Matters contacted Fox News for comment but heard nothing back. CNN similarly reported that “Fox News did not respond to CNN's request for comment.”