By Robert Jonathan
Even occasionally surfing over to The Five on the Fox News Channel at 5 p.m. Eastern time confirms that the ensemble political discussion program is probably no longer worth watching. Here’s why.
- Kimberly Guilfoyle has left the building. The glamorous and sassy KG abruptly parted ways with FNC in July 2018, and The Fivehas never been the same. The charismatic and feisty ex-California prosecutor effectively gave voice to the MAGA movement and now works for a pro-Trump political action committee. As part of her new role, she campaigns across the country on behalf of the president’s agenda, often accompanied by boyfriend Donald Trump Jr.
When the Guilfoyle was rumored to be in the running for White House press secretary, Fox insisted that she was locked in to a long-term contract. Contract issues didn’t stop FNC, however, from abruptly giving her the boot last summer, however. Perhaps someday we’ll learn what actually happened, but perhaps dating Trump Jr. played a role.
— Kimberly Guilfoyle (@kimguilfoyle) January 3, 2019
Bottom line: The rotating series of replacements in the so-called leg chair have yet to match Kimberly Guilfoyle’s on-camera articulation skills or the chemistry that she developed with her colleagues.
2) Establishment Republican Dana Perino is still in the building. Former G.W. Bush spokesperson Dana Perino, who some detractors have nicknamed Dana PeRINO, continues on the panel. Over the years since the show launched in July 2011, her goody-two-shoes act has come across as increasingly disingenuous. Moreover, the “in fairness to the Democrats” mantra is cloying. This apparent effort to curry favor with the Murdoch bros has evidently paid off, however, because Fox gave the her an anchor slot in the afternoon.
You may recall that the mask slipped at one point in 2015 when Dana Perino ridiculously accused former colleague Eric Bolling of supporting Trump only because he wanted to get on The Celebrity Apprentice. Perino apparently has never apologized for the hysterical outburst, at least publicly.
In a recent The Five broadcast, Perino said it was “exciting” to see what liberal policies that the new far-left, pandering Calif. Gov. Gavin Newsome (ironically, Guilfoyle’s ex-husband) seeks to implement.
Separately, Dana Perino has cautioned young people against using “uptalk” in conversation, but she speaks that way all the time during her remarks on the show. Also, memo to Perino: nobody cares about your dog.
Recall that during the Bush administration, no one – including Dana Perino – ever fired back against the media for rampant smears, unlike the current administration. Which approach is more effective?
(3) The perpetually “surprised” Juan Williams still sits in the liberal chair. Outside of politics, Williams seems like a nice guy, but his on-screen fake indignation, polling obsession, and regurgitated liberal talking points are guaranteed to make you reach for the remote as soon as he starts speaking.
His lack of preparation and/or apparent (or feigned) lack of knowledge about right-of-center views “from the people around this table,” as he puts it, is striking in that there are prominent Republicans in his own close-knit, immediate family.
Back in the day, when conservatives slowly began emerging in the media, liberals used to dismissively claim that the right-wingers really didn’t believe what they were saying. Has the script flipped such that media liberals are now play-acting for a check?
Juan Williams used to be a First Amendment champion, but it’s not even clear if he still holds to that view.
(4) The liberals who have substituted for Juan Williams on The Five when he isn’t around are even worse. Enough said.
(5) Maybe this is asking too much, but the substitutes for the other regular panelists/co-hosts when they are out bring very little to the table. Chemistry often takes time to develop but how long? Also, what happened to Eboni Williams? Although she was trending left, she would have been a strong fill-in or regular on The Five.
(6) Extra discredit: With everyone usually bantering as the show concludes, it’s jarring when The Five throws it to the officious Bret Baier with his serious-newsman schtick.
A Facebook commentator notes that The Five folks overtalk each other frequently, which is a point well taken. As noted below, that is true of most televised political roundtables, however, especially since many liberals and a few non-liberals love to filibuster.
Each episode of The Five still averages around 2.5 million viewers, which is very good in the fragmented cable TV universe.
Outside of prime time, Fox itself seems to have moved more in a liberal, globalist direction, which is its prerogative as a private corporation—freedom of speech and of the press, and all that. But viewers also have the ability to vote with their clickers.
Two Reasons for Continuing to Watch The Five
On the plus side, irreverent quipster and expert wordsmith Greg Gutfeld has the unique ability to explain political issues in day-to-day, relatable terms. He also has managed to cogently explain the basic premise that President Trump should be evaluated on his actions and policy decisions rather than his words. This is a concept that has entirely escaped the humorless, fake news media.
As a slight digression, Gutfeld is much more effective in the ensemble format than as host of the boring and forced Greg Gutfeld Show, which for some reason has avoided being cancelled. Maybe it’s just a Saturday Night loss leader.
Additionally, despite his frat boy demeanor, Jesse Watters (who replaced Eric Bolling in the center chair) has emerged as a forceful debater on The Five. He seems glib, well prepared, which he combines with self-deprecating humor.
Generally, if something significant happens on The Five, or on another FNC offering for that matter, you can always pick it up on YouTube, subject to Silicon Valley censorship.
Fox News Prime Time
Parenthetically, despite the manufactured SJW outrage leading to advertiser departures, Fox News deserves a lot of credit for standing by prime-time hosts Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham. Carlson and Ingraham continue to present quality programming, although the segments are way too short.
Hannity has done a solid job exposing the corrupt Deep State. That said, someone at the network needs to pull him aside and strongly suggest that he refrain from talking over a guest or panelist when that person is making, or trying to make, a good point or completing a thought. Listening to his guests occasionally wouldn’t hurt. Repeating the same list of grievances over and over doesn’t make for compelling viewing, either.
Is this critique of The Five, if you are a fan, too harsh? Sound off below.
A registered independent, Robert Jonathan is a longtime writer/editor for viral news aggregation websites with a focus on politics and other trending topics. He earned a Juris Doctorate degree from “a law school the basketball teams can be proud of.”