Trey Gowdy sets goal of avoiding ideological echo chamber with Fox News show

Former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) says he hopes his new Fox News show won’t become an ideological echo chamber like other political programs on cable where hosts and guests largely agree with each other.

“I don’t like it, and neither does the audience,” said Gowdy, whose show “Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy” premieres this week at 7 p.m. ET.

But in an interview with The Hill, he also acknowledged that finding guests with opposing views may be easier said than done.

“I’m something at the mercy of who is willing to come on the show,” Gowdy said. “It’s a tough time in politics. There is very little upside for Republicans to go on CNN and MSNBC, and it’s the same for Democrats going on other shows.”

The former lawmaker, who served in Congress from 2011 to 2019, said he would like to have guests who don’t necessarily share his political views, citing onetime colleagues Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, and Cedric Richmond, the ex-Congressional Black Caucus chairman who’s now White House director of public engagement.

Whoever does appear, Gowdy said, will be given time to expound and make their points, “a lot like in the courtroom.”

“I’ve never been a fan of artificial time limits in Congress where you hear, ‘The gentleman’s five minutes are up,’” he added. “Five minutes is not enough time to unlock the mysteries of the world.”

Gowdy knows a thing or two about congressional hearings. He entered the national spotlight as chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, a more than two-year investigation that launched in 2014 and was seen by Democrats as an attempt to discredit former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ahead of her 2016 presidential run. The committee came to a close about a month after the 2016 elections and did not find any new evidence of wrongdoing by Clinton in the September 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya.

Gowdy now says there was little about his congressional experience that he enjoyed and that a future run for office is not in the cards.

“You will never see me on a ballot again,” Gowdy said. “I wasn’t good at it, and I didn’t enjoy it.”

Gowdy first started with Fox News as a contributor in 2019. Later that year, Fox News fired him amid plans to join former President Trump’s impeachment legal team. He ultimately did not join as outside counsel and returned to Fox.

While he wouldn’t talk about contract specifics, Gowdy said he expects his show will last as long as viewers are interested.

“As long as it is enjoyable for the viewers and as long as I have something that I think is a little different to offer,” he said when asked about the long-term prospects for the program.

Tags Benghazi Cable news Cedric Richmond Donald Trump Fox News Hakeem Jeffries Hillary Clinton partisanship Trey Gowdy
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