Presenting from home has become a new normal for TV hosts during the coronavirus outbreak, but for one of Donald Trump’s favorite personalities, things did not go so well on Saturday night.
Jeanine Pirro missed the entire first segment of her show Justice with Judge Jeanine on Fox News and appeared disheveled when she did finally appear, her hair noticeably and uncharacteristically non-coiffured.
Fox News issued a statement on Sunday blaming “technical difficulties” for the spectacle and seeking to excuse the mishaps by pointing out that it, like others in such challenging times, was operating “with a reduced staff working remotely to ensure the health and safety of our employees”.
Pirro defended herself in a lunchtime tweet that claimed her hair was out of place because of an audio device in her ear with “no staff around to notice”.
“I was in a truck that was not prepared to broadcast [because] we had no connection, no visual and no teleprompter,” she wrote.
The explanations cut little ice with social media users, however, several of whom suggested alternative reasons for what they saw.
“OMG. What is Fox doing putting someone on the air in [that] condition?,” he wrote.
Pirro, 68, told another Twitter user: “Keep hating. U wear it well.”
The former New York state district attorney has often won praise from Trump for her supportive rightwing commentary and analysis and her aggressive pursuit of “liberals”.
Despite her weekend show, regularly attracting impressive prime-time ratings, the outspoken host has had a somewhat rocky relationship with her employers.
In 2019 Pirro was suspended for two weeks for on-air comments she made questioning the patriotism of the US congresswoman Ilhan Omar and criticizing her for wearing a hijab.
Throughout that controversy she retained Trump’s support, the president falsely blaming Pirro’s absence on “radical left Democrats working closely with their beloved partner, the fake news media” in using “every trick in the book to silence a majority of our country”.
Despite the president’s remarks, Fox released its own statement strongly condemning what Pirro said.