Diamond and Silk are no longer on the list of contributors at Fox News.
The offbeat duo, Lynette “Diamond” Hardaway and Rochelle “Silk” Richardson, who gained a profile on Fox News Channel in 2016 and then worked on the company’s streaming-video outlet, Fox Nation, are no longer contributing to Fox News venues, according to a report from The Daily Beast. Fox News did not respond to a query seeking comment.
The two had been creating weekly episodes for a Fox Nation streaming program, but have not done so since early April. In recent weeks, the pair took to social media and the Fox Nation program with remarks that questioned the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and whether the number of people reported to have died from the disease were inflated to undermine President Trump.
“What I need to know is how many people have passed away in New York, and what I need to know is: Who has the bodies?” Diamond asked during a recent streaming show. “Something’s not right here. Something is off here.” A day later, Twitter deleted a tweet from the duo suggesting Americans leave sheltering at home and expose themselves to coronavirus.
Fox News came under scrutiny in past weeks from critics who have questioned remarks made by primetime hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, “The Five” co-anchor Jesse Watters and others who took issue on their programs with the severity of the contagion. Trish Regan, a primetime host at Fox Business Network, was removed from the program after leading a segment suggesting liberals were overstating the effects of the spread of coronavirus to discredit President Donald Trump. A graphic that accompanied one segment that aired read “Coronavirus Impeachment Scam.” Regan and Fox Business parted ways soon after that program aired.
In mid-March, the two top executives at Fox News Media, CEO Suzanne Scott and President Jay Wallace, issued a memo pointing out the severity of the pandemic, suggesting to employees that there was little room to waffle about coronavirus facts. The memo urged employees to “keep in mind that viewers rely on us to stay informed during a crisis of this magnitude and we are providing an important public service to our audience by functioning as a resource for all Americans.” Since that time, Fox News has expanded its overnight programming, held town halls centered around the effects of coronavirus on American life, hired new medical contributors and set daytime anchor Harris Faulkner in a new hour aimed at having doctors answer viewer questions.
Diamond and Silk were more a curiosity than expert contributors, video activists who managed to cultivate a wider circle in an age when social-media influencing is seen as a viable role. Other than supporting President Trump, however, their credentials to discuss weighty subjects had not been established in traditional fashion.