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George Will, Cal Thomas, Ed Rollins Out at Fox News

Fox News has declined to renew the contracts of several venerable commentators.

The Hill:

Fox News has declined to renew contributor contracts for longtime political commentator George Will, Republican strategist Ed Rollins and actress Stacey Dash, according to a network spokesperson.

Will, 75, is a Pulitzer-winning conservative columnist who was with ABC from 1981-2011 before coming to Fox in 2013.

In June of 2016, he declared he was leaving the Republican party because of Donald Trump, a decision the then-nominee appeared to embrace.

In 2015 and 2016, Will had periodically feuded with the network’s highest-rated host, Bill O’Reilly, with Will once stating that O’Reilly’s best-selling book, “Killing Reagan” was “nonsensical” and “The Factor” host calling Will “a hack” in a subsequent interview.

[…]Political strategist Ed Rollins, 73, was a political commentator for CNN before jumping to Fox in 2011. He’s primarily known for serving as national campaign director for the successful Reagan-Bush 1984 campaign and currently co-chairs the pro-Trump Great America PAC.

Veteran journalist Marvin Kalb, 86, and syndicated columnist and radio commentator Cal Thomas, 74, also did not have their contracts renewed by the network.

Aside from the ideological conflicts with O’Reilly and the new Trump administration, the fact that these men are all in their 70s and 80s is noteworthy. While we’re living longer, healthier lives and the old retirement age of 65 is no longer reasonable—especially for those whose labor isn’t primarily physical—it’s not unreasonable that it’s time to get off the stage at some point and let the younger generation have their turn.

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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 earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Liberal Capitalist says:

    No!!! Not Stacy Dash!!!

    Who will the completely Clueless look to for guidance???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  2. @Liberal Capitalist:

    There are plenty of clueless people at Fox News Channel. Starting with the hosts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  3. I don’t know, or think very much of, Cal Thomas or Ed Rollins,, but I’m guessing that George Will is likely to get snatched up by one of the other two cable news channels in short order, at least as someone they bring on for occasional commentary if not the daily role he played at FNC.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  4. al-Ameda says:

    Doug, James, an honest question …
    Can we finally refer to FoxNews as ‘mainstream media’?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  5. James Joyner says:

    @al-Ameda: I’m not sure what the term means at this point. They’re not “mainstream” in the way the NYT, WaPo, or even WSJ are in that straight news reporting isn’t their bag. They’re certainly “mainstream” in the sense of being a prominent mass media outlet.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  6. @al-Ameda: and @James Joyner:

    There was probably a time when I would have placed FNC outside the “mainstream” but that time has passed. They are as much part of the media establishment as the other news outlets on television. It’s true that they aren’t always about straight news reporting, especially since many of their hosts have a definite point of view, but that’s also true of many of the hosts on other networks, especially the Prime Time lineup on MSNBC.

    I’d also add that if you look beyond the hosts on FNC and at many of the “beat” reporters that go on the air are as much journalists as their colleagues on CNN and the other news outlets. In fact, many of these reporters have resumes that include time at places such as CNN., CBS News, NBC News, and elsewhere.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  7. CSK says:

    Nigel Farage is replacing Will.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  8. al-Ameda says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    There was probably a time when I would have placed FNC outside the “mainstream” but that time has passed. They are as much part of the media establishment as the other news outlets on television. It’s true that they aren’t always about straight news reporting, especially since many of their hosts have a definite point of view, but that’s also true of many of the hosts on other networks, especially the Prime Time lineup on MSNBC.

    Good points Doug. A couple of observations.

    (1) I think many Americans confuse opinion shows with news reporting. This is probably because many commentators present as facts supporting their assertions, information that is either demonstrably false, or questionable at best.

    (2) I’m liberal (progressive, whatever) and I watch Fox News a fair amount. The reason I do is that they’re a powerful opposition force, and I think it’s not a bad idea for liberals to know what their opposition is saying. Fox is an opinion leader. Chris Wallace is good, he would be a valuable part of any news/opinion network.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  9. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @CSK: That’s not exactly what I was hoping for as I was mentally agreeing that someone else should have their turn. Oh well.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  10. Carey G says:

    @al-Ameda: Agree re: Chris Wallace. Although I often disagree with his emphasis or his line of questioning, I think he is attempting to the best of his ability to uncover useful information. He was of course also one of the better debate moderators in the fall.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  11. MarkedMan says:

    Fox News exists to sell sketchy products to gullible people. It does that by keeping them angry. To Fox, it’s not a flaw that their audience knows less about the world Than people who don’t follow news at all. It’s their business model.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

  12. I bet that, had Hillary had won, Murdoch would keep Will and Rollins on Fox.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  13. CSK says:

    @Andre Kenji de Sousa:

    You may well be right. Will, anyway, despises Trump and has made no bones about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  14. Lit3Bolt says:

    George Will being sidelined reminds me of William F. Buckley being ignored for his criticism against the Bush II administration and the Iraq War in his twilight years.

    It’s sad that modern conservatism cannot even offer a veneer of intellectual engagement or debate anymore, merely primal screams of rage and bigotry or chortles of gleeful misogyny and racism.

    Also the whining of how the whole world’s against them, can’t forget that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  15. One Tin Soldier says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    No!!! Not

    Stacy Dash

    !!!

    Who will the completely

    Clueless

    look to for guidance???

    I see what you did there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. Stormy Dragon says:

    Huh, purge season started early this year. Must be the unseasonably warm weather.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  17. C. Clavin says:

    Fox News is certainly mainstream in the way that Pravda was mainstream before the dissolution of the Soviet Union…Fox is now the official mouthpiece of the government in a way that has never existed in the United States before this past Friday.
    1/20/2017…the end of the free world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  18. ada heredia says:

    @MarkedMan: Not true, it is because of FOX NEWS and FOX BUSINESS NEWS that we are the smartest people around, how do you think Trump won! Personally I will not see any other news station since the 2016 campaign many news reporting is false.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0