Fox News has added Donna Brazile, former interim chair of the DNC, as a commentator. It has also appointed Former House Speaker Paul Ryan to the board of Fox Corp., the newly formed parent company of Fox News.
I’ve always kind of liked Brazile, and her commentary is likely to be worthwhile (she actually is a “Democratic strategist”), at least by the standards of news channel talking heads. However, when she was working for CNN, Brazile tipped off Hillary Clinton as to the questions she likely would be asked during debates and town hall meetings carried by that network. CNN fired her for this offense.
Fox News probably doesn’t have to worry about Brazile reprising that role in this cycle. The Democrats won’t allow Fox to host its debates and town halls. Nonetheless, I believe Brazile’s ethical breach should have disqualified her from commenting on the presidential race for Fox News, just as it caused CNN to fire her.
The knee-jerk liberal reaction to Ryan’s appointment to the Fox Corp. board is that it formalizes the “merger” of Fox News and the Republican party. However, Ryan’s selection is probably less than palatable to President Trump and his hard core supporters.
For better or for worse, Fox News is the gatekeeper of conservative thought for millions of Americans. Thus, it’s a matter of great moment whether the network is dominated by “establishment” types or by Trumpians.
At this juncture, Ryan is a quintessential establishment Republican and, though he often worked with Trump as Speaker, I don’t think he’s a fan of the president or of the populist wing of the GOP. We’ll see whether, from his position on the board, he will want to change the political bent of the commentary on Foz News and, if so, whether he’ll be able to.
STEVE adds: I met Donna Brazile once in a TV green room—I think at CNN—about ten years back, and we ended up having a long conversation that extended out onto the sidewalk outside the studio after our respective segments (we weren’t on the same show) were over. I found her perfectly pleasant, and we had what can only be described as a delightful argument, which is very different from a typical experience before, during, or after most cable news shows. I am glad Fox is picking her up. Sure, she’s a partisan liberal Democrat, but I think she shoots straight most of the time, and as such will most likely give us some original and honest opinions and not just DNC talking points.