Fox News’s “The Five” has gone from zero to 2.1 million (viewers) in just the last year and is now FNC’s third most-watched show. So we wanted to hear from the hosts about what makes the show successful. Here are 5 questions for “The Five” hosts, plus 2 bonus questions for the alternates.
TVNewser to Eric Bolling: What is the one ingredient of the show that is making it click with viewers?
Eric Bolling: I think the secret ingredient is that we all get along extremely well. That’s real, not forced and I suspect the audience can sense that. Mr. Ailes came up with a unique show idea and that was impressive. Then he found a group of people who get along and enjoy each other’s perspective and input. For that Ailes is a genius!
TVNewser to Kimberly Guilfoyle: After your role as prosecutor in a San Francisco dog mauling case, you started getting TV offers from CourtTV, CNN, MSNBC before joining Fox in 2006. What do you miss most about your life as a prosecutor and how often do you find yourself using those skills on The Five?
Kimberly Guilfoyle: I think what I like the most about my change in profession from a prosecutor is that I am able to be an advocate for families, victims of major crimes, or individuals who do not normally have a voice or someone to speak for them and get the story out to the public. As a prosecutor, you are always arriving at an issue or case after the injustice has occurred. As a host and journalist on The Five and a legal and political analyst at Fox News I am able to tackle issues and stories and bring them to the public’s attention especially when the mainstream isn’t covering a story.
TVNewser to Greg Gutfeld: Since the show is live at 5pm (not taped and airing at 3am) how often to you have to check yourself before saying something that might not go over well with the audience or your co-hosts?
Greg Gutfeld: I never do. The whole point of doing something live is the risk. And I figure if you run something by someone, you ruin the spontaneity of the moment. But If I think that what I might say might hurt their feelings, then I won’t do it. Like yesterday, I was going to bring up something that happened before the show. There was a group of school kids in studio for a tour. One of the children had asked Dana if he could take her picture. Dana said, “Do I go to your school and ask to take a picture of you?” Dana had a point, but that didn’t stop the child from crying. I was going to bring that up on the show, but I didn’t want to embarrass Dana, despite her obvious insensitivity towards America’s youth.
TVNewser to Dana Perino: Which do you like better: being a member of the media or keeping the press in check, which was part of your job as White House press secretary?
Dana Perino: When you watch the press secretary every day, you usually see him or her defending the president to the press. What you don’t see is the other part of the job – defending the press to the president and others at the White House. I loved my experience as press secretary for President Bush, and I did not know what I’d do after the administration. But being a part of The Five is a wonderful new chapter for me – and sparring with Beckel gives me a taste of my life before NYC.
TVNewser to Bob Beckel: How do deal with the criticism when what you’re saying isn’t in sync with Fox loyalists and your co-hosts?
Bob Beckel: I’ve been attacked from the Right for so many years that I’ve become immune to it. In fact, I find most of it humorous. I also get attacked from the Left for being on Fox, not so much the old Liberals who I’ve worked with over the years but younger liberals from the Netroots crowd. To them I say two things: one I’ve been a liberal activist before they were out of their diapers and, secondly, being on Fox I speak to more persuadable voters in a month than I could on MSNBC and CNN combined in a year.
TVNewser to Juan Williams: You’re no shrinking violent, but do you ever feel ganged-up on when you’re on The Five?
Juan Williams: Yes, I feel like it’s 4-1 but the joy of The Five is that they don’t mind when I tell them I really think they’re out to lunch. Plus it’s just more red meat for me and Bob to eat.
TVNewser to Andrea Tantaros: You once told your alma mater Lehigh University about your career: “If I’m making liberals angry, I must be doing something right.” What can liberals learn from watching The Five?
Andrea Tantaros: Liberals can learn the truth from watching The Five. Most liberal arguments are rooted in feelings, not facts. And Fox News is the only channel that is committed to giving viewers both sides of the story through a civil and diverse debate and discussion among five friends. From other biased media outlets to academia to Hollywood, people are inundated with liberal propaganda. The Five provides a conversation that touches all sides of an issue. For me personally, I’m a solid conservative in my beliefs (I cross over on only a few issues), but I’ve made some Republicans angry, as well, on the show when I call them out for losing their way, their mistakes or their hypocrisy, like when Newt Gingrich went after Mitt Romney’s capitalism in the GOP primary. I aim to give viewers a fair, fact based argument from a conservative point of view, and from my own years of political and campaign experience. This has earned me ire from both sides of the aisle, not just liberals. I guess that means I really must be doing something right.