Standup’s politics put her in ‘Crossfire’

Thesp Garofalo squares off with Carlson on CNN talker

NEW YORK — Actress and comedian Janeane Garofalo tried out her political opinions Monday as a special celebrity guest co-host on CNN’s “Crossfire.”

Sporting a new blond hairdo, the liberal Garofalo squared off with conservative co-host Tucker Carlson, one of the show’s regular co-hosts.

Garofalo will appear on the show all week, filling in for liberal co-hosts James Carville and Paul Begala, both on vacation.

In recent months, Garofalo has chalked up considerable face time on various news nets as an outspoken critic of the Bush administration’s war on Iraq.

“Paul and James were off, and we were trying to think of a new, fresh face,” said “Crossfire” senior exec producer Sam Feist.

Acting up

Garofalo said she isn’t bothered by those who are outraged that an actress would dare to express her political opinions.

“Just because someone is in the entertainment business, it doesn’t make them a nonperson. I actually have a genuine interest in politics, and I’m a bit of a news junkie. I always watch ‘Crossfire’ and every other news show, and I’m fortunate to have this access. It’s an incredible way to participate in the world,” she said.

Garofalo, who has gotten plenty of hate mail for her news show appearances, pointed out that Republicans have a rich tradition of turning Hollywood personalities into pols — case in point, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s current bid to become governor of California.