Donna Brazile, who has twice served as the interim chair of the Democratic National Committee, is one of the most prominent political strategists of recent times. Brazile, Al Gore’s campaign manager in 2000, was the first African-American woman to run a campaign for a major-party Presidential nominee; she had previously worked on the Presidential campaigns of Jesse Jackson, Walter Mondale, Dick Gephardt, and Michael Dukakis. She went on to spend fifteen years as a regular commentator on CNN, until, in October, 2016, she resigned. WikiLeaks had revealed that Brazile, who was serving as the chair of the D.N.C. and was on leave from the network, had shared questions for CNN Democratic primary debates and town halls with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. (She later wrote a controversial memoir, in which she argued that the Party had favored Clinton over Bernie Sanders.)
On Monday, Brazile announced that she would be joining Fox News as a contributor, writing, in a piece on the network’s Web site, that she is “excited to join the honest and passionate debate at Fox News about our future.” She described the decision as “rooted in the belief that you cannot make progress, let alone reach compromise, without first listening to, and understanding those who disagree with you on critical issues.” The news came during a particularly fraught time for the network. In recent weeks, the D.N.C. announced that it will not allow Fox News to host a Democratic primary debate (citing The New Yorker’s reporting on the network’s close ties to the Trump Administration), and the Fox News hosts Jeanine Pirro and Tucker Carlson came under new fire for bigoted remarks. (CNN reported that Pirro had been suspended.)
On Tuesday, I spoke by phone with Brazile. During our conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, we discussed her hopes for her work on Fox News, the network’s role in fomenting hate, and why she is so frustrated with partisanship in the media.
Why did you think it was important to join Fox?
Over the last six months, I have had an opportunity to go on various shows on the Fox network, as well as MSNBC. As you probably have heard or read, CNN and I severed our ties back in 2016, after WikiLeaks distributed part of my e-mails that put me in a very awkward position of not being able to defend what I did to create more debates, town halls, and forums for the Democratic candidates in 2016. So I wanted to have access to the TV world. I consider myself a pundit. I am not a journalist. I am a pundit with a partisan point of view.
MSNBC is quite an interesting place. From 9 a.m. until 9 p.m., you can go on that [network] and agree not with just the types of topics and questions that are often posed but also make your case. Well, after six months, I just found myself thinking that, you know what? What if I tried to do the same thing with Fox? I went on Dana Perino’s show, and then when my book came out, a book I co-authored with three other women, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Politics,” I spent literally three days on Fox. I went from the morning shows all the way to prime time. And I came away believing that it was important to talk to that audience. Not because they agreed with me but because they were willing to listen. And the Fox audience was different—it was a different response.
Read the full interview: https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/donna-brazile-explains-why-she-is-working-for-fox-news