Kimberly Guilfoyle, Juan Williams Tout Merits of Diverse, Civil Political Discourse

By A.J. Katz 

Kimberly Guilfoyle and Juan Williams have a tendency to go at each other on The Five. But they also recognize the importance of listening and having an open dialogue with people of varying political viewpoints.

Guilfoyle and Williams appeared at The Diversity Discussion this past Monday, an event produced by B&C and Multichannel News. Moderated by Multichannel News programming editor Tom Umstead, this was a unique conversation in that it focused more on diversity of opinion on television, and less on race and ethnicity in television (although Guilfoyle is half Puerto Rican and Williams is African-American.)

Guilfoyle, a conservative panelist on The Five, said that if people with opposing political sensibilities spoke to each other more frequently, a Trump victory might not have felt as surprising to many both inside and outside of the media.


“There is room for growth in all of us and across all of these platforms, to be able to make sure that we are hearing each other, that we are understanding exactly what’s going on across the country,” said Guilfoyle. “So that people don’t wake up on election day and say, ‘Wait, what just happened? We weren’t prepared for it. We didn’t understand. There wasn’t a dialogue there, or there wasn’t the coverage to show perhaps how this evolved and what occurred.’ ”

Williams, a progressive, said programs like his where people of differing viewpoints talk, debate and have “legitimate discourse that could lead to common understanding” can prove useful in a time when people are choosing to consume information only from sources that line up with their own ideologies. “What’s critical is in the midst of this is that they would be able to hear a different idea, a different story, a different perception,” said Williams.

The timing of this conversation was particularly interesting in that it occurred right after a keynote address from Univision anchor Maria Elena Salinas, during which she talked about the fear being felt by many of her viewers as a result of the election.

Perhaps taking note, Guilfoyle also mentioned that it would be smart for the president-elect to “reach out to these communities that did feel that they were disenfranchised or being singled out” in the election.