Mediaite, the cable watchdog whose motto is “We watch cable news so you don’t haveto,” has released a list of its Top 9 Rising Stars of Cable News. Citing the desperate need for “fresh facesand new ideas,” Mediaite looked to the main three cable networks: Fox, CNN, and MSNBC and chosenine people who have “significantly increased their profile over the past year.”
Topping off the list: Breitbart contributor, and someone who is quickly becoming a Fox News mainstay,Jedediah Bila. Mediaite praised Bila for her wit and controlled demeanor, the latter beinguncharacteristic of many cable news personalities.
There’s a reason that in one single day, you might see Bila co-hosting Outnumbered, guest-hosting on The Five, and paneling on Red Eye. She’s everywhere on the network because she’ssmart, witty, and has actually said several of the “6 things we wish cable news pundits would learn to say.” You’ll almost never see her trolling or engaging in a shoutfest and yet, unlike thenormal cable news trajectory, her punditry is being rewarded with more appearances. Perhapsthere is hope after all.
Breitbart News caught up with Jedediah:
BREITBART NEWS: You have been lauded for your non-abrasive approach in addressing political andsocial issues, which stands in stark contrast with what is generally displayed in punditry (i.e. screaming,shouting, resorting to low blows, etc.). To what do you attribute that approach and have you alwaysused that method? Also, do you feel that could help you garner greater inroads and increasedviewership from the left?
JB: My approach to politics and punditry is the same as my approach to life. I’m really interested in goodconversations, hearing what people have to say, and finding solutions. I don’t claim to have all theanswers. I’m not afraid to say “I don’t know” when I don’t know. I can’t stand rudeness, so I try not to berude. I don’t like being shouted at, so I don’t shout at other people. Plus, if I’m shouting, I’m probably notlistening too well, and that’s a problem. How can you fix what’s broken unless you listen to what otherpeople have to say? You can’t. I don’t always do these things perfectly, but I try my best.I have strong opinions about things, and I’m certainly not afraid to share them, but I’m also not afraid towalk in someone else’s shoes and see where they’re coming from. Opening minds is a good thing, and itjust might lead to some problem-solving.
As far as increased viewership from the left, I welcome everyone to the table to take a listen to what Ihave to say. I hope people from all over the political spectrum tune in. If you don’t like what I say, tell mewhy. I’m interested in that. Healthy debate built this country and I have no interest in shutting it down.
BREITBART NEWS: You seem to be able to appeal to both sides (left and right)…is this a consciousdecision on your part and do you feel more media personalities should straddle that line?
JB: I have a lot of experience with people who hold differing political views. I grew up in a politicallydiverse family. My mom also taught acting classes out of our home for years, and then opened a school,so I was surrounded by mostly liberal actors, dancers, and singers growing up. I’ve lived in Manhattan mywhole life, taught in very liberal schools, and dated mostly liberal New Yorkers. I’m used to being, well,outnumbered. That may have something to do with my approach to people of differing views and theirresponse to my approach.
I don’t make a conscious decision to appeal to both sides, but I’ve spent my life surrounded by diversity ofthought and I like it. As a result, I enter conversations genuinely interested in hearing other perspectives.I recently spoke at NYU and a liberal student revealed that he went into the room ready to laugh at meand came out thinking about what I’d said. That’s my hope–that those who may not be inclined to agreefind themselves with open minds ready for discussion.
I would never tell other media personalities what they should or shouldn’t be doing. Everyone has todecide what’s right for them, what their priorities are, and what their end goal is. I think you should betrue to who you are, and that’s exactly what I’m doing.
BREITBART NEWS: What is your ultimate goal and where do you see yourself in the media world movingforward?
JB: I’m not even sure what I’m having for dinner tonight, to be perfectly honest. But let’s see…I like being in the host seat, so I think that’s where I’d like to be full-time. I can’t tell you exactly what thatshow will look like, but you can count on humor and edge being a part of it. I’m not afraid to laugh outloud, have a live dance-off, or ask questions that make people a little uncomfortable.
There will be another book when the timing and topic feel right. Not just yet on that, though.I have a few ideas up my sleeve that I can’t share just yet, but I’m also a big believer in taking one day ata time. I’m working on appreciating today and am really grateful for this moment.
You can view Mediaite’s other “Rising Stars” here.