Some of former Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s strongest supporters would call any other former Democratic Congressman who decided to be a Fox News contributor a sellout — some on the Democratic left have urged Democratic leaders not to appear on Fox at all. But how much do you want to bet Kucinich will be given a pass on this one: his next gig is as a paid contributor on Fox News.

And of course, how DARE anyone raise their eyebrows (or questions):

Dennis Kucinich’s unlikely next act will be as a paid Fox News contributor, but he says it’s “almost silly” to think that he’ll be a kind of token.

“I’m way past that in my life and career,” Kucinich said in a phone interview with BuzzFeed on Wednesday. “That’s almost silly.”

The former Ohio congressman, who lost his seat after redistricting to fellow Democrat Marcy Kaptur, said that Fox invited him to New York last week to discuss the deal.

“That’s when they made the offer and I accepted,” he said.

He said that he’ll appear on shows “across the Fox News Channel”; “There’s a chance tomorrow, for example that I might end up being on O’Reilly. On another day I might end up being on Cavuto or on Fox Business.”

In July, Kucinich announced that he was launching a PAC to support like-minded candidates after his exit from Congress. He said on Wednesday that “I’ll continue to do that, but that’s a long range plan and that’s not going to in any way interfere with what I’m doing here.”

Kucinich has been a semi-regular guest on Fox throughout much of his time in Congress, he pointed out: “I think that the perspective that I offer is one that they obviously have valued in the past because of the number of invitations that I’ve received. ”

“I would say that over the years I’ve developed a relationship with people on every show they have,” he said.

Fox News does have some Democrats who are quite vocal, to be sure.

Kucinich will become one of the small number of liberal Fox contributors, which includes Evan Bayh and Bob Beckel. In the past, some of Kucinich’s views have hewed more closely to Fox lines, like abortion; he held out longer than many other anti-abortion Democrats in Congress, and announced that he had become pro-choice in 2003.

But none of that matters. All of what Kucinich said can be true.

The point is, many of Kucinich’s supporters would call anyone else a sellout for going over to Fox.

Take your bets now for how long it’ll be before he’s totally forgiven (passionately declared principles in politics have short shelf lives…).

Maybe we’ll hear the worn phrase: “Hey, I’ll bring about changes from the inside…”

On the other hand, it shows again Fox News’ Roger Ailes genius in recruiting people with varying views to offer more perspectives/provide a figleaf for the reality of what Fox News is (pick the one that most fits your bias…).

JOE GANDELMAN, Editor-In-Chief
Leave a replyComments (20)
  1. ProfElwood January 16, 2013 at 9:14 pm

    Kucinich is to Democrats what Ron Paul is to Republicans — he’s got a totally different fan base. He was never part of the mainstream before, so why should they care that he’s not mainstreaming now?

  2. KP January 16, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    I never pass up an opportunity to listen to Dennis Kucinich. Love the guy. As well, Bernie Sanders. As well, Ron and Rand Paul. Why? Because they are consistent and honest. I don’t have to agree with much they say to throw major respect their way and listen to what they have to say. At least there is context.

    On Kucinich in particular: he has a great sense of humor and he and O’Reilly have a fun and respectful relationship. He is the perfect ultra- liberal to be on Fox.

    To those of you who don’t watch Fox: I urge you to choose which programming you watch more carefully rather than boycotting.

  3. KP January 16, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    ProfElwood, I hadn’t seen your comment, but it is interesting we would choose some of the same names even if for diverse reasons. They do stick out.

  4. cjjack January 16, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    KP, I agree that Kucinich is consistent and honest, but I cannot believe this is anything less than hiring a “token liberal” as far as Fox News is concerned.

    You said that he is “the perfect ultra-liberal to be on Fox,” and there’s the rub…instead of hiring a solid middle of the road liberal, they went for the furthest left guy they could get.

    He’s Alan Colmes without the lazy eye. He’ll be used as a punching bag, like the contenders Mick lined up for Rocky after his win over Apollo Creed. “They was bums, I tell ya…bums!”

  5. DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist January 16, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    i was just thinking, consistent and honest used to be not a claim to laud, rather just a usual character trait amongst many many.

    On listening to one or another person… I’m still trying to get through Plato’s Republic and Ovid’s Metamorphosis and von Clausewitz {I know, I know, but, they truly are related in amazing ways]. I think sometimes, the very old guys who wrote in timeless ways, tell more than the current crop of talking teeth who ever eventually get mowed down like any fast crop, and their talk is rarely timely or timeless. Just my .02 worth. Not a put down. I dont know if you talk talk talk on air every every every day if you can actually say in depth things consistently. Seems to me, incubation of one’s thoughts, often takes more than a few hours.

  6. KP January 17, 2013 at 1:42 am

    cjjack, you can’t be a token anything unless you allow yourself to be used.

    Would you mind sharing who you think is a middle of the road liberal? That will go a long way to offering us context to your comment. Is it Chris Matthews, Maureen Dowd, Juan Williams, Eugene Robinson or someone else?

    As well, what’s wrong with having somebody like Pat Buchanan on MSNBC? The guy adds something to the conversation. He shouldn’t be called a token. I admit he doesn’t have the allure to me that Kucinich does but that is more of a credit to Fox than to MSNBC.

    Kucinich and Sanders have done as much to move me left as anyone else in the last couple years. Consider: more exposure of these men and women to the center, center right and far right is helpful to us all. Are you waiting for the right to all die off or would it be nice to bring them along as we problem solve. C’mon.

  7. KP January 17, 2013 at 1:46 am

    Agreed, Alan Colmes is a hag. Kucinich is no Alan Colmes.

  8. KP January 17, 2013 at 1:51 am

    dr e, I am re-reading Marcus Aurelius “MEDITATIONS”

    Those old guys had a lot to say and it is worth reading more than once.

    • DR. CLARISSA PINKOLA ESTÉS, Managing Editor of TMV, and Columnist January 17, 2013 at 5:36 am

      KP, I like that people read ‘the old guys.’ Did you ever see the little embossed cover paperback series put out about 8-10 years ago… the covers were so cool, and were some of the best of the ancient treatises. I think MA was one/ Elegant package for elegant thoughts.

  9. ShannonLeee January 17, 2013 at 4:28 am

    The Alan Colmes comparisons are very valid. Please keep in mind that Fox News viewers are very visual. Smoking hot females and super man handsome moderators (granted not all, but most fit). Colmes looked like a rat. He looked like a weak sniveling little liberal rat. That was the visual that Fox wanted to give conservatives… liberals are weak. liberals are weaselly rats. liberals cannot be trusted.

    Look at Kucinich. A tiny little wrinkly man. Fox wants to bring that character back…the weak looking liberal.

    and Kucinich has the rat ears for the job too

    fyi… I don’t think it is right. It just is

  10. dduck January 17, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Go Fox. Get more non-Reps, even go for the biggest pile of liberal lard, the white Whale, Barney the frank.

  11. KP January 17, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    dr e, I missed the embossed series. Sounds wonderful!

  12. KP January 17, 2013 at 6:39 pm

    ShannonLeee, that is just about the funnies or weirdest comment I have read in quite some time. Not sure how it was intended so I commented twice :)

    I never much notice what Kucinich looks like. Too busy listening to him. If I had to describe him I would say he looks tough, the way Harry Reid looks tough. The more you know them the tougher they look.

  13. The_Ohioan January 17, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    dd

    Now that I’d pay to see. Do you think it’s possible? Barney would wipe the floor with them. They’re already cutting people off in mid-interview; with him it would be the first sentence. :-)

  14. dduck January 17, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    I was just joking. I understand that he is starting
    his own line of bespoke suits and spandex gym wear, so between that and fending off offers for his financial tips, well he’s too busy.

  15. The_Ohioan January 17, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Aw, shucks. :-(

  16. ShannonLeee January 17, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    :) I meant it

    Harry Reid is also one that does not project power. I am sure Kucinich is very authoritative given the chance, but Fox News viewers will never consider a word he says. They will just see what Fox News wants them to see, another weak liberal.

    We live in a very visual world.

    “Video killed the radio star.”

  17. KP January 17, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    “I meant it”

    It’s still funny :)

    You may be underestimating some Fox viewers. And those you may be underestimating are the viewers who will benefit from additional exposure to him.

    Best regards.

  18. ShannonLeee January 18, 2013 at 1:25 am

    ok, last comment :)

    I may be underestimating a handful of Fox viewers, but you may be underestimating the power of the meme that liberals are incapable of protecting our nation. Reps own national security because they project strength.

  19. dduck January 18, 2013 at 9:57 am

    SL, as a proud member of the band of “handfuls” and a casual browser of CNN and once in a while MSNBC, I can tell you that there is some value in watching FOX.