×

Donna Brazile Is Ready to Talk Left-Leaning Politics – on Fox News

A stalwart Democrat plus Fox News Channel? That’s a recipe for making sparks fly. But Donna Brazile says she’s not looking for a fight when she appears on the cable-news outlet.

Brazile, the former campaign manager for Al Gore in 2000 and a one-time interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, was named a Fox News contributor in March, and since that time has made appearances on everything from “Fox & Friends” to “The Five.” She says she’s ready to hold forth in any timeslot the network wants to put her – even if it’s during Fox News’ opinion-led primetime block, where the hosts are often supportive of President Trump.

“I’m not saying I don’t have strong views.  I have strong views,” says Brazile during a recent wide-ranging phone interview. “I think it’s important to be civil.”

Since being named to the new role, she has appeared during Sean Hannity’s and Laura Ingraham’s primetime hours, and says she could easily do Tucker Carlson’s. After all, she has appeared on Carlson’s program when she’s had books to pitch, she says, and knows the host from when they both appeared on CNN.  She has also done things she never thought she’d do on TV, like make jambalaya for the network’s morning program (“In Louisiana, everything starts with your trinity: You have to have your onion, your garlic, your peppers,” she recently told Ainsley Earhardt) and sing on a chart-topping country song by John Rich.

Brazile has no regular hosting slot and her cameos largely depend on the vicissitudes of the news cycle. But her appearances give Fox News a voice from the left at a time when its opinion programming is seen in many circles as having embraced the right in a tight bear hug.

Contributors can serve a similar function at other news operations. MSNBC, whose prime time roster is seen as progressive, employs conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt. CNN, which has been attacked by President Trump many times during his White House tenure, has hired Trump sundry Trump supporters such as Jason Miller, Jeffrey Lord, Ed Martin and Paris Dennard – not always with the most salubrious results.

Brazile once had a home on CNN, but those ties were cut in 2016 after that cable-news outlet,  now operated by AT&T, said it found she sent questions to Hillary Clinton’s campaign in advance of a debate and town hall meeting carried by the network. At the time, CNN said it was “completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor.”

“I don’t like the way we split,” Brazile says of CNN, noting that she’s “grateful to have worked for CNN all of those years.”

She thinks her voice still has relevance for news viewers, particularly at a time when Democrats are fielding nearly two dozen presidential hopefuls. “By and large, I am often the only guest at that particular moment talking about the Democratic field,” she notes. The campaign “is going to get touch and grueling,” she adds, and White House hopefuls will have to do more than differentiate themselves from the rest of the field. They will have to start addressing issues such as U.S. cyberwarfare and foreign interference with U.S. elections.

But she feels her time at Fox News is helping her return to the field after a difficult moment. “I came out of 2016 bruised and battered and emotionally distraught,” she says, citing the election and her parting ways with CNN. “I didn’t think I would ever get myself to go back out there.”

She will always take part in politics, but Brazile suggests she will step back from the DNC after the next election cycle. She will always have a hand in politics, she says, but is also eager to make room for other pastimes.

There’s no time to slow down quite yet. “I believe this cycle is much bigger than just one political party winning a debate or winning the election,” she says. “It’s about the future of our democracy.” No doubt, she’ll be discussing that topic and others on Fox News.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Will Arnett Joins BBC Soccer Comedy

    Will Arnett Joins BBC Comedy ‘The First Team’ From ‘The Inbetweeners’ Producers

    Will Arnett and Chris Geere will star as the chairman and coach of an English soccer team, respectively, in “The First Team,” a new comedy for the BBC from the producers of “The Inbetweeners.” The series will follow the off-the-field misadventures of three young soccer players played by Shaquille Ali-Yebuah (“The Feed”), Jack McMullen (“The [...]

  • 'Game of Thrones' Fashion at the

    'Game of Thrones,' Fashion Slayers: HBO's Drama Winners Also Shined on the Carpet

    The cast of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” knew how to make an entrance (and an exit) on Sunday night at the Primetime Emmy Awards. Before winning the night’s final trophy, Best Drama Series, stars like Emilia Clarke and Gwendoline Christie pulled out some fantastical looks on the purple carpet, with Clarke donning the mother-of-all-earrings by [...]

  • Emmys Fashion: Best Dressed on the

    Emmys: Best Fashion on the Purple Carpet

    The biggest stars in television stepped out on the Emmy purple carpet on Sunday night in a stunning display of gowns and vivacious looks. Fashion expert Brooke Jaffe, who visited Variety’s set after the show, picked some of her favorite dresses of the night, which included Zendaya’s truly enviable Vera number and Mandy Moore in [...]

  • Emmys 2019: Biggest Winners and Losers

    Winners and Losers of the 71st Emmy Awards

    The 71st Emmy Awards was a spectacular affair for the Brits, while broadcast networks all but vanished. Watch Variety’s Elaine Low and Audrey Yap unpack TV’s biggest night of the year, which saw “Game of Thrones” and “Fleabag” take home the top prizes, winning best drama series and best comedy series, respectively. Popular on Variety

  • Atmosphere71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Show,

    Emmy Viewers Not 'Feelin' Good' About Bizarre Music Choices

    It was known ahead of time that the Emmy Awards planned to dispense with a traditional orchestra or pit band for the walk-up and bumper music. What wasn’t anticipated was that the music choices were being outsourced to a bar mitzvah DJ in Des Moines. Or, very possibly, it was a local who had found [...]

  • Atmosphere71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Show,

    Emmys: Big 4 Broadcasters Post Lowest Combined Wins Ever

    The Big 4 broadcast networks put a cap on their worst year in Emmy history on Sunday night. ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC brought home just 16 Emmy Awards — the lowest combined total in history for the four major broadcast networks. The previous low was 19 combined wins in 2016. Last year, the networks [...]

  • Karamo BrownLA LGBT Center 'Hearts of

    Karamo Brown Addresses Backlash Against Sean Spicer Comments

    Karamo Brown has doubled down on comments he made about his fellow “Dancing with the Stars” contestant Sean Spicer, in which he promoted the idea of meeting political adversaries “in the middle.” The amicable “Queer Eye” host received criticism when he said he was “most excited to meet” Spicer ahead of the show’s 28th season, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content