Donna Brazile, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee and a veteran political operator, has joined ABC News as a contributor, a move that is likely to limit her appearances on Fox News Channel, where she has been appearing regularly since March of 2019.
Brazile made a recent appeared on ABC News’ “This Week,” identified as a contributor, and a spokesperson for the Walt Disney unit confirmed she had joined its roster in previous weeks. Brazile has been a noted presence on Fox News Channel, which tilts decidedly to the right. “There’s an audience on Fox News that doesn’t hear enough from Democrats,” Brazile said in 2019. “We have to engage that audience and show Americans of every stripe what we stand for rather than retreat into our ‘safe spaces’ where we simply agree with each other.”
Her move to ABC News is unveiled in a week when Juan Williams, the panelist on “The Five” who offered liberal a perspective, announced he would leave the New York-based show to stay close to home in Washington, D.C.. Fox News is expected to seek a new panelist with a similar view as a replacement.
Fox News did not respond to a request for comment.
Brazile has a long history as a Democratic political operative. She managed Al Gore’s presidential campaign in 2000, the first African-American woman to do so. She has worked with Jesse Jackson,. Walter Mondale and Richard Gephardt as well.
She has worked with ABC News in the past, and continued to make appearances there even when she was under contract with Fox News, the result of “carve outs” that prominent personalities are often able to win from news organizations in negotiations for analyst roles.
Brazile has also proven to be a controversial presence. CNN cut ties with her in October of 2016 after a series of revelations from emails hacked by Wikileaks showed she had provided questions in advance of CNN’s broadcasts of Democratic primary debates to the Hillary Clinton campaign. “We are completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor,” CNN said in a statement at the time. Brazile, who had contributor roles with both CNN and ABC News, continued to make sporadic appearances on ABC.
“I don’t like the way we split,” Brazile told Variety in 2019 about her departure from CNN, adding: “I came out of 2016 bruised and battered and emotionally distraught,” and even considered not striking any new news relationships. “I didn’t think I would ever get myself to go back out there.”