Fox News Drops LL Cool J From Sarah Palin Show

Updated at 3:43 p.m. EST

Fox News announced Wednesday that it will cut interview footage of LL Cool J from the debut episode of a new series hosted by Sarah Palin.

This Thursday night at 10 p.m. Eastern, the former Alaska governor will host the premiere of "Real American Stories," a series that profiles "ordinary Americans that have led extraordinary lives."

In addition to personal stories from average folks, the first episode will air interviews with celebrity guests.

Country Music star Toby Keith, former General Electric Chief Executive Jack Welch and Rapper LL Cool J were all slated to discuss how they overcame adversity to achieve success in a segment called 'In Their Own Words," the Chicago Tribune reports.

But LL Cool J, whose real name is James Smith, was none too pleased about his scheduled appearance. Apparently, he was not aware that his story would be broadcast on the Palin program.

"Fox lifted an old interview I gave in 2008 to someone else & are misrepresenting to the public in order to promote Sarah Palins Show. WOW," tweeted the rapper on Tuesday night.

Fox News subsequently dropped LL Cool J from the program in a statement that included a dig: "As it appears that Mr. Smith does not want to be associated with a program that could serve as an inspiration to others, we are cutting his interview from the special and wish him the best with his fledgling acting career." (See the Promo for the Show at Left)

Reportedly, much of the material on the show consists of interviews taken from a web site that Fox launched in the Summer of 2008. Up until recently, Gawker points out, the only indication that the "Real American Stories" website was related to the Fox Network was a "tiny copyright notice at the bottom of the page."

The buzz surrounding "Real American Stories" is simply the latest iteration of Sarah Palin's rapid rise to media stardom.

Nearly every time she writes on her Facebook page or makes an appearance on the campaign trail, the news media converges to cover the story.

Her memoir "Going Rogue: An American Life" became a bestseller on the internet more than a month before it was released in stores. Palin recently signed a deal to star in a documentary series about her native Alaska that will air on TLC later this year. And she has a multi-year contract with Fox News to appear as a commentator.

While lingering speculation about a possible 2012 presidential run has not subsided, Palin seems content to solidify her status as media superstar rather than recruiting fundraisers or laying the traditional groundwork for a run at the White House.

"I'm increasingly convinced that Sarah Palin is running to head a media empire rather than a presidential campaign," writes Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post.

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