CNN has decided to cut ties with host Reza Aslan after Aslan sparked controversy by calling President Trump a “piece of s**t” on Twitter last week. The first season of Aslan’s show Believer just ended but, until today, CNN had planned to go forward with a second season. From Variety:
“CNN has decided to not move forward with production on the acquired series ‘Believer with Reza Aslan,’” the network said in a statement. “We wish Reza and his production team all the best. “…
“Obviously I am very disappointed in this decision. ‘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. I am especially grateful to the legion of people within the Turner organization who worked so hard to make the show a hit series,” said Aslan, in a prepared statement. ” However, 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.”
After the terror attack in London, Aslan responded to one of President Trump’s tweets by calling him a “piece of s**t” and an “embarrassment to humankind.” Here’s a screengrab:
— Stefan Molyneux (@StefanMolyneux) June 4, 2017
Aslan made an apology of sorts the next day:
— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) June 4, 2017
That might have worked if Aslan’s outburst at President Trump had been a one-time thing, but it turns out that wasn’t the case at all. In fact, Aslan used the same term to attack President Trump just last month:
Oh the joy when this lying conniving scumbag narcissistic sociopath piece of shit fake president finally gets what's coming to him. https://t.co/iVZGAwCF9P
— Reza Aslan (@rezaaslan) May 10, 2017
And it’s not just President Trump. Aslan has used the same phrase to describe a number of people in the recent past. So his claim that doing so last week is “not like me” turns out to be false.
CNN made the only choice it could under the circumstances, just as it did recently when it cut ties with Kathy Griffin after her severed head stunt. I suspect these two aren’t the only on-air talent at CNN who feel this way about President Trump. Maybe today’s decision will convince some of the remaining ones to keep a lid on their rage.