Reza Aslan becomes the second CNN personality dumped after attacking Trump

Reza Aslan. (Bret Hartman for The Washington Post)

For the second time in just over a week, a CNN personality has been cast off the network after a vulgar attack on President Trump.

At the end of May, Kathy Griffin’s contract was terminated after the comedian allowed herself to be photographed holding a prop of Trump’s bloody, severed head.

And now Reza Aslan, who hosted a provocative series about religion for CNN, will follow Griffin off the network after calling Trump a “piece of s—-” on Twitter last weekend.

Aslan’s show “Believer” will not return for a second season on CNN, the network announced Friday, following outrage over the host’s vulgarity and discoveries that it had not been the first of its kind.

For a man with a background in religious scholarship, Aslan has never seemed the church-mouse type. The first season of “Believer” saw him eating human brains with members of a religious sect, and he has been attacking Trump online virtually since Election Day.

But Aslan appeared particularly incensed by Trump’s response to Saturday’s terrorist attack in London, when the president retweeted a speculative Drudge report about the incident shortly after it happened and used the massacre to promote his entry ban.

“The president is a man baby that must be ignored in times…

CNN fires Reza Aslan over tweets blasting Trump

CNN dumped another contributor who ridiculed President Trump.

Reza Aslan, who launched the high-minded non-fiction series “Believer” three months ago, was fired by the network after he slammed Trump as a “piece of s—” among other criticisms on Twitter — days after Kathy Griffin was booted by CNN for her shocking photo of a beheaded Trump.

“CNN has decided to not move forward with production on the acquired series ‘Believer with Reza Aslan,'” CNN said in a statement to Variety. “We wish Reza and his production team all the best. “

The ousting comes after Aslan condemned Trump on Twitter for using the recent terror attack in London to preach the need for his controversial travel ban.

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Reza Aslan is out at CNN. (Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Turner)

Aslan, 45, expressed his disappointment over the ousting Friday afternoon on Twitter.

“Believer means a great deal to me and to the countless viewers it’s reached,” he said in a statement. “Its message of religious tolerance of religious tolerance and…

CNN severs ties with host who called Trump ‘a piece of s—‘

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CNN has parted ways with controversial host Reza Aslan one week after Aslan called President Trump “a piece of s—” and “an embarrassment to mankind” on Twitter.

“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.”

The Iranian-born Aslan is the host of CNN’s “Believer,” which aired weekly on Sunday nights. The 45-year-old author and religious…

Podcast Episode 156: The Most Dedicated Soldier

When American forces overran the Philippine island of Lubang in 1945, Japanese intelligence officer Hiroo Onoda withdrew into the mountains to wait for reinforcements. He was still waiting 29 years later. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll meet the dedicated soldier who fought World War II until 1974.

We’ll also dig up a murderer and puzzle over an offensive compliment.


In 1896, Austrian engineers designed a mountain railway pulled by a balloon.

In 1965 Kingsley Amis inventoried Ian Fleming’s unsavory descriptions of M.

Sources for our feature on Hiroo Onoda:

Hiroo Onoda, No Surrender: My Thirty-Year War, 1974.

Mark Felton, “The Soldiers Who Would Not Surrender,” World War II 18:4 (November 2003), 18.

Robert D. McFadden, “Hiroo Onoda, Soldier Who Hid in Jungle for Decades, Dies at 91,” New York Times, Jan. 17, 2014.

Adam Bernstein, “Hiroo Onoda, Japanese Soldier Who Hid in Philippine Jungle for 29 Years, Dies at 91,” Washington Post, Jan. 17, 2014.

David Powers, “Japan: No Surrender in World War Two,” BBC, Feb. 17, 2011.

“Last Man Fighting: Hiroo Onoda,” Economist 410:8871 (Jan. 25, 2014).

“Hiroo Onoda – Obituary,” Telegraph, Jan. 17, 2014.

Justin McCurry, “Hiroo Onoda: Japanese…

Al Franken: Kathy Griffin can recover from ‘horrible mistake’

Kathy Griffin apologizes for anti-Trump photo
Kathy Griffin apologizes for anti-Trump photo 01:10

(CNN)Kathy Griffin can recover from the controversy over her photo shoot that featured her holding up a bloody head resembling President Donald Trump, Sen. Al Franken said Wednesday.

“I think she did the right thing asking for forgiveness and acknowledging that this was a horrible mistake, so I think she can,” the Minnesota Democrat and former “Saturday Night Live” writer told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day.”

Kathy Griffin: 'I beg for your forgiveness' for gruesome anti-Trump photo shoot

“I’m a comic,” said Griffin, a frequent Trump critic. “I cross the line. I move the line, then I cross it. I went way too far. The image is too disturbing. I understand how it offends people. It wasn’t funny. I get it.”

She said she’d ask celebrity photographer Tyler Shields to remove the photo and rejected the idea that she was encouraging violence against…

In Dueling Events, Samantha Bee and Hasan Minhaj Target Trump, Fox News and CNN

When the comedian Hasan Minhaj stepped up to deliver his remarks at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner on Saturday night, he had known for more than two months that President Trump would skip the gala. Samantha Bee, who broadcast her own competing event, called the “Not The White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” on the same night, probably never wanted Mr. Trump there in the first place.

But in the absence of Mr. Trump, who instead gave a rally in Harrisburg, Pa., Mr. Minhaj, a correspondent on Comedy Central’s “Daily Show,” and Ms. Bee, the host of TBS’s “Full Frontal,” took a page from the playbook of this president, whose relationship with the news media has been singularly contentious, and vented their spleens at the press.

Though the comedians’ programs were shown in opposition to each other, they arrived at similar places. Both celebrated the First Amendment and the freedoms it grants, but they also took sharp aim at the news media, urging reporters to show more integrity and to win back the respect of the American public.

“We’re living in this strange time where trust is more important than truth,” Mr. Minhaj said in his performance at the Washington Hilton Hotel. “And supporters of President Trump trust him. And I know journalists, you guys are definitely trying to do good work. I just think that a lot of people don’t trust you right now. And can you blame them? I mean, unlike Anderson Cooper’s bone structure, you guys have been far from perfect.’’

Ms. Bee, whose show was recorded on Saturday afternoon at DAR Constitution Hall, made similar observations.

“With so much excellent reporting out there, why do 96 percent of Americans believe the media should be strung up by its own bowels?” she asked. “I don’t know — maybe because when they turn on the TV looking for news, all they can find are journalists trying to referee a pack of well-coiffed message robots shouting at each other all day from increasingly tiny boxes.”

Mr. Minhaj, 31, who described himself as “a first-generation Indian-American Muslim kid,” arguably had the tougher task of the night. He agreed to appear at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner at a time when it has come under renewed criticism for enabling the cozy mingling of reporters and the government officials they cover.

And Mr. Minhaj lacked the star power of past entertainers like Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers and Jimmy Kimmel. As Mr. Minhaj said at the start of his routine, “No one wanted to do this….

‘Roger Ailes Did Sexually Harass Me’: Alisyn Camerota Opens Up About Her Time at Fox News

Following the announcement of Fox News star Bill O’Reilly‘s ouster from the network following numerous allegations of sexual harassment, CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota opened up about her experiences as a Fox News anchor and the network’s culture of harassment. And in doing so, she dropped a pretty major bombshell.

Appearing on today’s broadcast of CNN’s Reliable Sources, Camerota told host Brian Stelter that O’Reilly’s departure presented the right time to “have the conversation” about Fox News’ culture, especially while former chief Roger Ailes oversaw the network. Ailes left Fox News last summer amid accusations that he had harassed a number of female employees over the years, including ex-Fox host Gretchen Carlson.

“And you said on the air Bill O’Reilly never harassed you,” Stelter stated. “But you didn’t say that about Roger Ailes. Did Roger Ailes ever sexually harass you?”

“Yes,” Camerota answered. “Roger Ailes did sexually harass me.”

She added that Ailes was often “grossly inappropriate with things he would say,” talking about her “body parts” and telling her to give him a “spin.”

Camerota went on to describe an incident when Ailes propositioned her in his office, suggesting that they should work together more closely if she wanted a better opportunity at the network, meaning they’d probably need to get a hotel room together.

“I just went home and I didn’t tell anybody at the time because I was embarrassed,” she noted.

The CNN anchor…

Former Fox News Anchor Alisyn Camerota: ‘Roger Ailes Did Sexually Harass Me’

Alisyn Camerota Roger Ailes

Another ex-Fox News anchor is going public with allegations of sexual harassment against former CEO Roger Ailes.

Alisyn Camerota, who worked with Fox News as a reporter and weekend anchor for more than a decade, told CNN’s Brian Stelter on “Reliable Sources” that she was targeted by Ailes, who resigned under pressure last July.

“Yes, Roger Ailes did sexually harass me,” she said.

Gretchen Carlson 20/20
Inside Gretchen Carlson’s Mission to Keep Fighting Sexual Harassment

“Roger Ailes was — could be charming,” she said. “He could be quite charismatic. He could be uproariously funny. He could also be a bit of a bully, and mean. And he also was often kind of grossly inappropriate with things that he would say, and I think that many of us experienced that. He would talk about body parts. He would say ‘Give me a spin.’ He would want to be greeted with a hug.”

Camerota recalled an instance in which she told Ailes that she wanted more responsibility. Ailes allegedly responded by telling her that they would have to work more “closely” together,…