The people at Fox News are apparently serious about being “fair and balanced” as proved on Thursday, when the network hired veteran Democratic activist James Carville to serve as a contributor of political commentary on the channel.
The “Ragin' Cajun,” who led Bill Clinton's successful presidential campaign in 1992 and spent most of the past decade as a political commentator for the Cable News Network, joins such outspoken liberals as Juan Williams, Kirsten Powers and Bob Beckel on the channel's roster.
Carville hosted Crossfire on CNN from 2002 until it was canceled in three years. He later served as an adviser to Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign and last year lent his name to the Ready for Hillary PAC, which has dedicated itself to supporting Clinton's 2016 presidential ambitions.
However, during the past 12 months, Carville has made appearances on such prime-time Fox News programs as The O'Reilly Factor, The Kelly File and Hannity.
"James’ successful and storied career in politics over several decades is an enormous asset to Fox News," Bill Shine, the network's executive vice president of programming, said in a statement. "We are privileged to have him lend his breadth of experience, wit and dynamic perspective on the network."
Carville is currently a political science professor at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has written several books, some with his wife, GOP strategist Mary Matalin.
One of the liberal Democrat's most memorable incidents came in 2005, when he clashed with conservative commentator Robert Novak, who argued with Carville before storming off the set even though the broadcast was being aired live.
“Just let me finish what I'm going to say, James,” Novak said. “Please, I know you hate to hear me, but you have...“
Carville interrupted his conservative counterpart by stating that the politician they were discussing needed “to show these right-wingers that he's got backbone. Show them you're tough.”
“Well, I think that's bull---t!” Novak replied. “And I hate that. Just let it go.” With that, he marched off the set.
Interestingly, the person who moderated that discussion was Ed Henry, who is now the chief White House correspondent for Fox News.
As Newsbusters previously reported, Carville and Matalin were both shown the door -- along with several other long-time commentators -- by CNN's new president, Jeff Zucker, during January of 2013.
Then in May of that year, Carville clashed with Bill O'Reilly over whether the hosts at MSNBC are “far left” or “liberals.”
The long-time Democrat asserted that far-left people are criminals who are “breaking the law,” while liberals do not fall into that category.
One day later, Carville praised Texas senator Ted Cruz as “the most talented and fearless Republican politician I’ve seen in the last 30 years."
While a guest on the September 12 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, Carville contradicted Andrea Mitchell, who claimed that the world was "coalescing" around the president's position on Syria and said that there was "a lot of optimism" surrounding the Obama team's negotiations with the Russians.
Mitchell's comments were too much for even a long-time liberal like Carville, who said: "I love Andrea, and she's optimistic. God love her, I hope she's right. Count me a little more pessimistic."
Two weeks later, Carville compared GOP primary voters to low-quality jailbirds, and on February 5, the Democratic activist was hammered by Megyn Kelly when he complained that many of Obama's troubles come from the news media.
“Is it embarrassing for the president of the United States to be complaining about a cable channel?” she asked. “I mean, president Bush never did this about MSNBC.”
“Bush people would complain about the liberal media all the time,” Carville responded before Kelly replied: “Not president Bush.”
This much is certain: Having James Carville on the set of Fox News is bound to result in arguments and fireworks, just as those provided by Williams, Beckel and Powers. Critics of the cable news network would do well to remember that the so-called “conservative” channel is far better balanced politically than any of its competitors.