For reasons apparently unrelated to his position on Islam, Beckel left the network about six months later. “We tried to work with Bob for months, but we couldn’t hold The Five hostage to one man’s personal issues,” wrote Bill Shine, who was then the network’s executive vice president of programming. Whatever happened on or off the air at Fox News apparently didn’t concern CNN, which later hired Beckel as a contributor. A longtime Democratic strategist who worked on Walter Mondale’s unsuccessful presidential race, Beckel wrote a memoir titled, “I Should be Dead: My Life Surviving Politics, TV, and Addiction.”
Now the jolly self-proclaimed Islamophobe is heading back to Fox News. And though Shine is now co-president of the network, he was absent from the announcement re-introducing Beckel to his old perch at “The Five.” “Bob was missed by many fans of The Five and we’re happy to welcome him back to the show,” read a statement from Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of 21st Century Fox and executive chairman of Fox News. Wonder who’s making the calls at Fox News these days?
“The Five” is a rollicking, personality-driven show where Beckel previously served as the resident liberal, pushing back against conservative colleagues such as Dana Perino and Eric Bolling. They were good together.
As part of its announcement, Fox News declared that Juan Williams, who assumed the liberal-against-the-world role, will “remain an FNC contributor across all programs and continue to appear on The Five.”
Can cable news please muster some fresh talent? After Greta Van Susteren left Fox News’s 7 p.m. slot, the network filled it temporarily with vet Brit Hume, then turned to Mr. Cable News Tucker Carlson, who had previously worked at both CNN and MSNBC. Then, when Megyn Kelly left Fox News, it moved Carlson into the opening. Over at MSNBC, meanwhile, it filled an opening at 6 p.m. with … Van Susteren.