Why didn’t Jeanine Pirro reveal her ties to Donald Trump? [UPDATED]

Yesterday, I complained about what I called the mindless responses by some Fox News commentators to the National Review’s “Against Trump” issue. Some of the responses weren’t just mindless, they were also obnoxious.

One the most obnoxious ones came from Judge Jeanine Pirro. She ranted: “The National Review needs to get in line with the rest of the Republicans. How dare they trash the front-runner Donald Trump!”

But Trump doesn’t have the support of “the rest of Republicans;” he has the support of approximately 35 percent of them. In any event, conservatives are under no obligation to “get in line” with Trump supporters just because he leads in mid-January polls.

Pirro’s rant is so sickeningly authoritarian that one almost hoped she had an ulterior motive for offering it. And it turns out that she may — her ties to Donald Trump.

Jeff Dunetz explains:

New York Magazine once described her ex-husband Al Pirro as “Westchester’s most influential real-estate lawyer, a man Donald Trump keeps on retainer”. . .

In other words, before her divorce Mr. Trump was an important part of Judge Pirro’s household income. And when she ran for New York State Attorney General, Donald Trump donated $20,000 to her campaign.

Jeanine Pirro’s relationship with Trump hardly disqualifies her from opining about the candidate and his critics. But clearly, she should have disclosed the relationship. Instead, she chose to conceal it.

Throughout this campaign season, we’ve seen pundits disclose their relationships, often fairly tenuous, to various candidates. For example, every time National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru discusses the race, he links to a disclosure statement that encompasses three Republican candidates.

That Pirro declined to disclose her relationship to Trump undermines her credibility, though probably not as much as the absurdity of her rant itself does.

UPDATE: A reader writes that Judge Pirro has, on more than one occasion, disclosed her relationship/friendship with Mr. Trump. He adds that it is unrealistic to expect her to repeat this disclosure every time she comments on how she feels a political candidate is being treated by the media.

I thank the reader for this comment. But not all of Pirro’s viewers watch her show regularly enough to know about her relationship with Trump.

Thus, I believe she needed to disclose the relationship before instructing National Review to “get in line with the rest of the Republicans” and before saying “how dare they trash the front-runner Donald Trump!” — statements that went well beyond mere commentary about how Trump is being treated by the media.