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Sally Kohn, Ben Ferguson Share Their Fox News-MSNBC Experiences

RSOn Sunday morning’s “Reliable Sources,” former Fox News contributor Sally Kohn and radio host Ben Ferguson talked to host Brian Stelter about appearing on networks that carry far different ideological viewpoint than theirs following a Columbia Journalism Review piece that suggested Fox News is more welcoming to opposing views.

Both pointed out the deck being stacked against them: “Wasn’t worth it…it was usually three-on-one,” Ferguson said about MSNBC, adding it wasn’t worth putting makeup on to be used as a punching bag.

“It was often three on one…my favorite was fifteen-on-one,” Kohn said of her time at Fox News, highlighting a Hannity panel where she was the only liberal in a sea of conservatives. Outnumbered or not, Kohn saw a benefit to appearing on Fox.

“In a show like Hannity…from my perspective, as a liberal, as a progressive, I don’t want that to go unquestioned, unchallenged,” Kohn continued about wanting to offer Fox viewers a liberal counterpoint to its conservative hosts.

This morning, Howard Kurtz has a piece on Foxnews.com on the Columbia Journalism piece, answering why liberals come on Fox—and why Fox spends good money on acquiring them as contributors.

“Well, it’s good television, and more interesting for viewers when everyone doesn’t agree. I used to argue with Keith Olbermann when he had an MSNBC show that it would be less predictable if he would sometimes debate people on the right. He said he didn’t like such fake debates — but the result was, in those years, endless Bush-bashing.”

And Fox News might have some new competition ahead from the right: Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy talked to Stelter about plans to launch Newsmax TV in June, suggesting his company is already bigger than Fox News.

Both segments after the jump.

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