Without any explanation from Fox 10, station anchor Kari Lake returned to air on Monday for the first time since last week, when video of her dropping the f-bomb and criticizing Phoenix New Times went viral.
Lake — who co-anchors nightly newscasts with John Hook — did not address her controversial remarks during the 4 p.m. news broadcast. She also did not make mention of her comments at the top of the 5 p.m. broadcast.
On July 15, the local news gossip site FTV Live first posted a video of Lake speaking candidly with Hook about a recent discussion she had with her bosses regarding her account on Parler, a social media site favored by far-right extremists and conspiracy theorists.
FTV Live reported that Lake's managers asked her to remove a reference to her Parler account on Twitter. Hook was attempting to explain that decision when Lake launched into her rant against New Times, both apparently unaware that they were being recorded.
"I think they just think it's been branded as a far-right kind of place," Hook said of Parler. "So they don't want you tied in with anything like that, where you're going to get blowback from the New Times or whoever it is."
"Fuck them," Lake responded. "They're 20-year-old dopes. That's a rag for selling marijuana ads."
After New Times reported on Lake's remarks, she did not appear on air for a week. Fox 10 news director Douglas Bannard did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Lake became something of a cause célèbre for conservatives in the past week, who cast her as a victim of a media ethos that has little tolerance for views outside the liberal orthodoxy.
Lake has not directly addressed her remarks against New Times, but has alluded to them on social media during her time away from air. She retweeted a supportive message from a former co-worker and posted a cryptic meme on Instagram that read, "I am not what you think I am. You are what you think I am."
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She previewed her return to the local news on Twitter.
Thank you for the kind words of support many of you have sent me this past week. The outpouring of love has been appreciated. I’m back on Fox10 starting at 4 PM. And I couldn’t be happier. I missed my awesome “work-family” so much. pic.twitter.com/qe4CLsKBdf— Kari Lake Fox 10 (@KariLakeFox10) July 22, 2019
Lake's f-bomb was not the first time she made headlines. During the #RedForEd teachers' union protest in 2018, Lake baselessly tweeted that the movement was part of a ploy to legalize marijuana. Lake's tweet was widely mocked, and prompted her to make an on-air apology.
"I made an incorrect conclusion in my tweet, and for that, I'm sorry," Lake said after her tweet. "I respect teachers deeply and I'm concerned that some are trying to use the teachers' fight for higher pay to move forward with their own separate agendas."