Bob Beckel, the lone liberal commentator on Fox News' "The Five," has been fired in the wake of his back surgery and subsequent stint in drug rehab.
"We tried to work with Bob for months, but we couldn’t hold 'The Five' hostage to one man’s personal issues," Bill Shine, Fox’s executive vice president of programming, said in a statement, according to Mediaite.com
"He took tremendous advantage of our generosity, empathy, and goodwill and we simply came to the end of the road with him. Juan Williams and Geraldo Rivera will be among those rotating on the show for the near future."
Beckel, 66, has been off the air since February. His whereabouts were unknown for months until Fox revealed that he had undergone back surgery, and later sought therapy for an addiction to prescription pain medication.
"I am no longer on 'The Five' or with Fox. Fox statement today baffles me. I will respond in the appropriate forum. I will miss you all," Beckel wrote on Twitter
following the Fox announcement.
"I just can't understand the anger in Fox statement. I was healing from major back surgery I could not walk, I took no advantage, I got well. Fox has been good to especially when I was healing. I guess I'll never understand their anger It is all so very sad [sic]," he continued.
Beckel joined Fox in 2000, and has in recent years made headlines for using the word "Chinamen" and flipping off his co-hosts.
Before joining Fox, the suspenders-clad commentator had previously served as campaign manager for Walter Mondale’s failed 1984 presidential bid, and also served in the Jimmy Carter's State Department.
that "The Five" currently holds the top spot among all 5 p.m. programming on basic cable.
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