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Brit Hume Stepping Down at Year End

Brit Hume is giving up his anchor chair at the end of 2008Brit Hume is going into semi-retirement, Howie Kurtz reports.

Brit Hume, a top anchor and executive with Fox News since the channel was launched 12 years ago, plans to step down at year’s end. But he won’t disappear entirely.

Sources familiar with the situation say that Hume, 65, will give up his job as Washington managing editor and anchor of “Special Report.” They say he is near a deal to continue with Fox in a senior statesman role, not unlike that of Tom Brokaw at NBC, for roughly 100 days a year.

In his new role, Hume would be a senior political analyst, anchor special events, serve as a panelist on “Fox News Sunday” and occasionally substitute for the host, Chris Wallace.

This was apparently expected.  Certainly, the man’s got plenty of money and has earned the right to a lighter schedule.

As I’ve noted many times, I’ve all but stopped watching television news since starting the blog.  I always enjoyed Hume, though, as an anchor or as a panelist.

UPDATE: Reactions are starting to pour in.

  • Matt Sheffield, Newsbusters: “He’ll be missed. Special Report was a rare island of sanity in the chaotic sea of cable news.”
  • Matt Corley, Think Progress, reports without comment.  His commenters stay classy, as always.
  • David Hauslaib, Jossip: “Perhaps he’ll use the opportunity to make the official transition from hard news anchor to opinionated pundit.”

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Steve Plunk says:

    It’s our loss. Brit Hume was a serious man doing his job as a journalist. He seemed to always ask the right questions.

    I like that you linked to Think Progress. Don’t any adults post comments over there?

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  2. Bithead says:

    “Think Progress” exhibits once again why I say it represents neither thought nor progress. Have these folks forgotten Rather’s a short-timer? Or do they figure he’s going to be faking his own death?

    Sorry… I’m a little annoyed with this just now.

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  3. [...] James Joyner is rounding up reactions. [...]

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  4. Triumph says:

    I love this man.

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  5. Grewgills says:

    “Think Progress” exhibits once again why I say it represents neither thought nor progress. Have these folks forgotten Rather’s a short-timer? Or do they figure he’s going to be faking his own death?

    What on earth are you on about?

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  6. Bithead says:

    What on earth are you on about?

    Guess I have to make it obvious for you. Very well.

    Well, I’m just wondering how they’d react if on Rather’s death the comments from the right get as ugly as the rather ironically named ‘think progress’ are getting.

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  7. Grewgills says:

    Well, I’m just wondering how they’d react if on Rather’s death the comments from the right get as ugly as the rather ironically named ‘think progress’ are getting.

    Hume isn’t dying, he is going into semi-retirement.

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  8. Bithead says:

    Yes, well, all I can say, Grew, is go and read.

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  9. Grewgills says:

    Yes, well, all I can say, Grew, is go and read.

    Right back at ya. Where does it say or imply that Hume is dying? What should I read?
    I read James’ post, the Think Progress post and some comments, and the WaPo article. None of these mentioned or even implied that Brit Hume was dying. The posts and articles were straight forward. The first 15-20 comments at Think Progress were along the lines of good riddance to bad rubbish, much like much of the commentary coming from the right when Rather stepped down.

    If you are trying to set up some sort of left right dichotomy where only the right respects people, particularly when sick or dying, I suggest you look through the comment sections of right leaning blogs (even here) when Kennedy went in for surgery.

    BTW I can’t say that there is any Fox anchor I would be sad to see retire except maybe Kent Brockman.

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  10. Bithead says:

    Where does it say or imply that Hume is dying?

    How can such a smart individual get himself so sidetracked, I wonder?

    I suggest you look through the comment sections of right leaning blogs (even here) when Kennedy went in for surgery.

    Interesting parallel. How many people has Hume drowned, Grew?

    See how that works?

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  11. Grewgills says:

    OK Bit, for a more direct parallel look at the celebration and mean spirited comments in the right blogosphere when Rather stepped down.

    The only real dichotomy between left and right in blog spitefulness is the targets.

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  12. DCortez says:

    My favorite anchor/commentator. Wish he wasn’t leaving.

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  13. Bithead says:

    OK Bit, for a more direct parallel look at the celebration and mean spirited comments in the right blogosphere when Rather stepped down.

    Oh, but I have.
    But you see, there’s a major difference; How many docuemnts did Hume falsify? Don’t you think part of what Rather suffered was because of his own actions? What actions of Hume equal those, in your view?

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  14. Grewgills says:

    How many docuemnts did Hume falsify?

    As far as I know exactly as many as Rather (0).
    Rather failed to fully vet the documents*, trusting that his producer had done so. The people on the right who vilified him for that mistake hated him prior to that mistake and would have celebrated his departure prior to that event.
    Its the perceived bias on Rather’s part that some on the right hated and the same is true with Hume and the left.

    * BTW The documents were not necessary to the story. Including these documents was a huge gift to Bush as it moved the controversy away from Bush, his preferential treatment, and his service or lack thereof, and onto Mapes, Rather, and the suspect documents.

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  15. Tom says:

    Brit Hume is one of the biggest disgraces to American journalism today. It amazes me how thin-skinned Republicans and conservatives are, and how they reveal the fallacies of their own arguments by defending Hume.

    I thought Hume was “Fair and balanced”? If he was truly neutral the Right wouldn’t be absolutely crying hysterically that he’s departing as an official anchor. You’re moaning because he’s a right-wing hack who tilts the news to help Republicans and conservatives.

    In 2004 a media research group studied his campaign coverage of the election and found that 83% of his Kerry coverage was negative. Eighty-three percent. Not 20, not 40, not 60. Eighty-three. That’s an absolute joke. And naturally his coverage of Bush was 60% positive.

    He’s a partisan fraud who allows his reporters, such as Cameron, Angle and Garrett, to file biased, one-sided reports on a daily basis. His regular guest panel is stacked with Republicans. The usual makeup is (R) Barnes, (R) Krauthammer and Kondracke, who is neither a Democrat nor a liberal. It is very rare that Hume even allows a liberal or a Dem on, and it’s generally Juan WIlliams, who makes an appearance every once in a while. Liasson is not a Democrat or a liberal, and Fox News was flat out lying to its viewers when it first introduced her. As it turned out, she was forced to admit years later that at the time Ailes hired her, she was a registered Republican.

    So much for the “liberal” side of the panel.

    So now he’s leaving? So what? Stop your entitled groaning. They’re going to end up replacing him with someone just as overtly partisan.

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  16. Bithead says:

    I thought Hume was “Fair and balanced”? If he was truly neutral the Right wouldn’t be absolutely crying hysterically that he’s departing as an official anchor. You’re moaning because he’s a right-wing hack who tilts the news to help Republicans and conservatives.

    No.
    That makes an incorrect asumption; that the right thinks it needs a spokesman in the MSM. It doesn’t. All it needs is someone who is fair, and let the viewer decide the truth…. the truth, you se, bing the left’s biggest problem.

    Liasson is in fact a liberal.(Why else would NPR hire the woman?) Kondrake is acentrist, and for that matter so too is Barnes.

    But, what this comes down to, I suppose you’re so far down it looks like up.

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  17. Bithead says:

    BTW The documents were not necessary to the story

    They most decidedly were. Proof? Once it was discovered Rather was pushing a fraud, the whole case went away.

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  18. Grewgills says:

    They most decidedly were. Proof? Once it was discovered Rather was pushing a fraud, the whole case went away.

    The same information came from multiple sources including Killians secretary (who indicated that the info in the documents if not the documents themselves were accurate), his superiors in AL and others. When the info about the documents came out the narrative switched to the documents, Mapes, and Rather rather than Bush, his preferential treatment, and questionable service. As far as I am aware no one who served in the AL guard at the time Bush was supposed to have served remembers his presence despite considerable looking.

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  19. Tom says:

    “Liasson is in fact a liberal.(Why else would NPR hire the woman?) Kondrake is acentrist, and for that matter so too is Barnes.”

    Sorry, but even if your pathetic claim that Liasson is a “liberal” were true, you still lose the argument. Namely because she is not a regular on the Special Report. She is a fill-in for Krauthammer.

    The regular panel on the Special Report is (R) Barnes, (R) Krauthammer and Kondracke. So two Republicans versus one centrist is, quote, balanced? Moderated by an admitted conservative Republican?

    There’s a good laugh. Hume is a fraud and only idiots take serious the idea that he was ever an unbiased journalist at Fox.

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  20. Tom says:

    “No.
    That makes an incorrect asumption; that the right thinks it needs a spokesman in the MSM. It doesn’t. All it needs is someone who is fair, and let the viewer decide the truth…. the truth, you se, bing the left’s biggest problem.”

    This is also what I love about conservatives. You can’t prove anything you say, or back it up with any facts.

    Notice how I included certain “facts”, such as the study that documented Hume’s bias during the 2004 election? And all you can do in return is babble inanely about “URR UHHH YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH”.

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