Political pundit Bob Beckel, who acted as a co-host on The Five radio show, was dropped by FOX News on Wednesday after a lengthy absence from the airwaves. He is reportedly dealing with numerous health issues, namely back problems and prescription pain pill addiction.
The executive producer of Fox News programming, Bill Shine, stated that the network had attempted to work with Beckel for months, but had come to the “end of the road” and could not extend any further goodwill or generosity toward him. Shine also said The Five was suffering due to Beckel’s personal problems.
Beckel had been at FOX News since 2000. He entered rehab two months ago to address his addiction issues and last appeared on The Five in February. As a liberal co-host, Beckel often stirred up trouble with provacative statements and being profane on the air. After the bombing at the Boston Marathon, he stated that the government should stop issuing student visas to Muslims. Asian politicians also frowned upon Beckel’s use of the word “Chinamen.”
Several FOX News personalities will appear in Beckel’s place including Geraldo Rivera and Juan Williams. Ratings for The Five have risen since mid-February, which was Beckels last show.
On Thursday evening Beckel said on Twitter that Fox’s statement “baffles” him and that he will “respond in the appropriate forum.”
In a subsequent tweet, Beckel said he “can’t understand the anger in Fox’s statement” and that he simply used the time off to recover from a “major back surgery” that left him unable to walk.
“I took no advantage I got well,” Beckel said.
In another tweet, Beckel said that the channel treated him well, including during his recovery, but he once again expressed confusion over Fox’s harshly worded statement.