Fox News host Sean Hannity on Friday defended former CNN host Reza Aslan, arguing the network should not have fired him after calling Donald Trump “a piece of sh*t.”
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) June 9, 2017
“Reza calling the @POTUS a POS is bad form,” Hannity wrote. “Calling me the same fair game. I do not think you should be fired. You apologized #FreeSpeech”
Aslan made the remark on Twitter in response to Trump using the London Bridge attack as fodder for his travel ban.
“This piece of sh*t is not just an embarrassment to America and a stain on the presidency. He’s an embarrassment to humankind,” Aslan wrote.
In a subsequent statement, Aslan said apologized for his post. “I should have used better language to express my shock and frustration at the president’s lack of decorum and sympathy for the victims of London. I apologize for my choice of words,” he said.
Friday, CNN released a statement saying the network has “decided to not move forward with production on the acquired series ‘Believer with Reza Aslan. We wish Reza and his production team all the best.”
Aslan responded to that statement, saying he’s “disappointed” in CNN’s decision, but understands the network “needs to protect its brand.”
“Obviously I am very disappointed in this decision,” Aslan wrote. “’Believer’ means a great deal to me and to the countless viewers it’s reached. Its message of religious tolerance and exploration is extremely important right now. I am deeply grateful to CNN for giving me the opportunity to launch the show and to amplify my voice on their network. “
“In these politically charged times, the tenor of our nation’s discourse has become complicated, and I recognize that CNN needs to protect its brand as an unbiased news outlet,” Aslan continued. “Similarly, I need to honor my voice. I am not a journalist. I am a social commentator and scholar. And so I agree with CNN that it is best that we part ways. I look forward to partnering with another platform in the future to continue to spread my message. I wish CNN all the best.”
Last month, CNN fired Kathy Griffin over her gruesome image of a bloody, decapitated Trump head. Hannity offered no such support for the comedian.