CBS has hired yet another prominent liberal:
Jeff Ballabon, an Orthodox Jew and political and communications consultant whom The Forward called “the architect of Bush’s 2004 re-election effort in the Orthodox community,” is the new senior vice president for communications at CBS News. He starts Monday and, according to a CBS press release, will be in charge of “all media relations and public affairs for CBS News, including strategy and planning, day-to-day publicity, internal and external communications” and coordination with the CBS News website.
“The key to success is the ability to be empathetic with a diversity of viewpoints,” he said, adding that his background as an Orthodox Jew has sometimes made him feel like “somewhat of an outsider in society” and thus he never thinks that he should be imposing his viewpoint on others.
And he quips that “with the current political environment, the mainstream media actually seemed like the more moderate atmosphere.”
[UPDATE: Ballabon’s self characterization doesn’t fly with Ira Forman of the National Jewish Democratic Council. Forman tells Capital J that during one forum the two participated in, Ballabon said that Democrats in Washington are evil and Republicans in Washington are good.]
He’s quite a humorist as well:
Not long ago, he hosted a fund-raiser for a Hebron settlers’ group, and at another recent gathering he introduced, with a wink, a settler friend as “a minor terrorist.”