In the fall of 2013, I gave a TED talk on what I learned as a progressive, on-air talking head at Fox News, where I worked for two years before leaving and joining my current home, CNN. After all, one of the most frequent questions I was asked during my time at Fox was how I did it, how I was a fox in the henhouse – or a hen in the Fox house, if you will.
My time at Fox News was marked by meeting and working with some of the kindest, smartest, and most talented people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in life. As I said in my TED talk, Sean Hannity is one of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet – and even now that I’ve parted ways with Fox, he remains a good friend and mentor.
The piece then descends into a predictable, milquetoast, kumbaya,”we’re all just people at heart” plea for us all to recognize our mutual humanity. “Kindness is persuasive”, you guys.
The point of the headline isn’t that Sean Hannity is like Hitler, but that the “niceness” of a given person has nothing to do with rightness of their views. LBJ was an asshole, philanderer and bully who liked to make his aides come into the toilet and talk to him while he was taking a shit. Does that invalidate the Civil Rights Act? O’Reilly and Hannity might be wonderful, caring people when it comes to the couple dozen people they interact with in person at Fox (though the jury is out on that). Who cares? Their on-air behavior, and the policies they advocate, are anything but kind. So we judge them on that, despite protests to the contrary by someone making their living as a token liberal who is more chicken than fox in that particular henhouse.