Donna Brazile Defends Joining Fox in Heated New Interview: ‘Come On, Sir, I Wasn’t Born Yesterday’
Former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile got into a bit of an argument with a reporter from The New Yorker this week when asked about her new job as a Fox News contributor.
Isaac Chotiner held a Q&A with Brazile about why she chose the network as her new home, during which, she faced questions about whether the network has contributed to the polarization that has caused civility to deteriorate in American political discourse. Brazile answered that Fox doesn’t bear sole responsibility for that, saying “all of our institutions are broken,” and she criticized the political press as a whole while Chotiner pressed her on the idea that Fox holds a unique position in the media landscape.
Brazile continued to argue that her hope was to make Democratic inroads with the Fox News audience by inserting herself into their political debates. All the while, Chotiner repeatedly asked for her thoughts about criticisms of the network and the argument that Fox promotes total obedience to President Donald Trump.
Here’s where the conversation started to heat up as Brazile got increasingly defensive:
Brazile: I hope you understand that you are having a conversation with me because I chose to call you back. I chose to get your digits, and I chose to call you. I understood that when I made this decision to call you that you probably wanted to get up in my crap about going on Fox. I made my position known. I wrote a column and I put out a statement. I knew people were going to call and say, “Don’t you know the house might stink up?” “Yeah, but is that the only house that is stinky?”
Chotiner: I just want to be clear that you were—
Brazile: No, no, I want you to be clear that I have my marbles. This is Donna Brazile. You are not talking to a phantom; you are talking to me. Don’t call me and act as if you are somehow appalled that a black woman, or a woman, or a liberal progressive, would go, “Hell, yeah, I want to go in that den.” And I want to fight from inside and fight from the outside. I may be naïve in my judgment, but I am wise in my view that, long term, we are not going to make progress by simply being out throwing rocks. I don’t want to do that. This is my decision.
The interview remained spicey as Brazile called her Fox contributor gig “probably the hardest decision I have ever made in my life,” and she rejected the notion that she took the job for money.
Here’s how the conversation ended:
Chotiner: Ms. Brazile, without quibbling with what you are saying—
Brazile: Call me Donna, sir. And I appreciate you calling me Ms. Brazile.
Brazile: But you see, I have already come to pick up your spices, so that’s why I am getting spicy. Come on, sir. I wasn’t born yesterday. I was born in New Orleans, by the bayou, but I didn’t eat everything from the river.
Chotiner: Donna, I understand what you are saying. But you are talking with a moral outrage while we are discussing your life and what your life means, while ignoring the fact that you are going to work for Fox News, and what that means, and what that network is. And we both know what that network is because neither one of us was born yesterday, as you keep pointing out.
Brazile: Yes, sir, I have made the decision to go work for Fox News and, as you saw in the column I wrote, I explain exactly why I am doing it.
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