My Fox Appearance Today

As many of you may know, I have been a regular guest on Fox News for several years now.   Though it is often very adversarial I have enjoyed my time on Fox.   To me politics is an ongoing, never- ending debate, a battle of ideas, and Fox, though of course I don’t agree with much of what is argued there, has been a great place for me to mix it up and make my case.   The staff in the DC bureau are good folks, and I’ve gotten to know many of them well over the years.  All in all it has been a good experience for me, and I think for NDN.

But today my patience for the cable news game ran out.  As you will see from the clip, the other guest simply wouldn’t let me talk, kept interrupting and speaking over me.   You will see that the Fox anchor, Shannon Bream, tried to keep the debate balanced, but the other guest just kept breaking that basic rule of cable news – don’t interrupt, your turn will come.  I have been on with this guy before and he is a constant interrupter, which is actually not common on Fox or other cable news programs.   As you can see I was not taking a particularly adversarial position in the piece, arguing that Medicare must be reformed, and both parties needed to come together to find a solution that works for the country.  I got weary of trying to make my point and being interrupted, tired of the level of intense disrespect being shown to me on air, and I did something I never thought I would ever do – I walked off the set, on air.  I too broke one of those basic rules of the game.

Will admit that in my 25 years in TV news and politics, this was not one of my better days.  It has been amusing, however,  to see the snarky chatter on the right about me not having the stomach for a fight.  First time I have been accused of that, and trust me I’ve been accused of a lot of things over the years.  But in looking back at what happened today I have to be honest and acknowledge that I mourn the loss of dignity and respect in politics. As the President often says, we have to relearn how to disagree without being disagreeable.  Not sure why today was the day I hit the wall given the daily battle I signed up for long ago, but I did, and I have to spend a little more time thinking through why.

Will report back soon.