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Fox News Refutes Report That Channel Banned Limbaugh Biographer

Michael Calderone of Yahoo! makes the claim:

Is Fox News keeping an author off the air because his recent book includes criticism of Bill O'Reilly?

That's what Zev Chafets, author of "Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One," thinks is happening. In the Rush-approved biography, Chafets asked the radio host what he thinks of O'Reilly.

"He's Ted Baxter," Limbaugh said, referring to the pompous newscaster played by Ted Knight in the '70s on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."

"Sorry, but somebody's got to say it," Limbaugh continued.

That line got picked up by publications like The Hill and splashed on the Drudge Report. And it's because of that one comment, Chafets believes, that he then got bumped from a couple of Fox News shows.

Chafets told Yahoo! News that he was scheduled to appear on "Fox & Friends" on May 26 -- the day after publication of his Limbaugh book -- and the following Monday, May 31, on Greta Van Susteren's "On the Record."

FOX News gives a response to Mediate:

According to Fox News there was some interest in the book by producer's of On the Record, hosted by Greta Van Susteren, who requested the book to gauge interest, but never booked Chafets. Producers at Hannity also claimed to have received a number of calls from Chafets' publicist, but never demonstrated any interest in actually booking the author; and Fox & Friends claimed to never have called to book Chafets, but again was aggressively pursued to have him on.

A Fox News insider referred to Chafets' account of getting bumped from Fox News as result of an alleged feud as nothing more than "wishful thinking that reeks of desperation" and said, "We tend to have authors on whose books actually make news and have buzz - Zev's book has neither."

RealClearPolitics hears the item had been shopped around for weeks and was turned down by multiple people on the beat, but Calderone went for the cheap trick and got played by Chafets in the process. A Fox News source tells us Calderone's claim is absolutely false. This is backed up by Mediate's report of the book lacking popularity.