Pam Bondi’s TV future is brighter than Florida media’s coverage
Bottom Line: Your daily doses of nonsense in the media and my takes on them...
Is Pam Bondi auditioning for Fox News while still working for Florida taxpayers? - Miami Herald via the Tampa Bay Times
Excerpt: Pam Bondi is still the attorney general of Florida, at least for another four months.
But last week Bondi had a different job: co-host of the Fox News’ The Five. She subbed on the news talk show not once, not twice, but three times, appearing as a panelist Wednesday through Friday.
The situation was so unprecedented for a sitting elected official that Bondi first sought guidance from the Florida Commission on Ethics, the government body that oversees conduct of public officials. Tallahassee lawyer Richard Coates “spoke to the Commission on behalf of the Attorney General” prior to appearing on the show, her spokeswoman Kylie Mason said.
Bondi was not paid and state dollars were not spent on the trip, Mason said. Florida taxpayers pay Bondi’s $128,971 salary.
Asked why Bondi thinks it is appropriate for one of Florida’s top elected officials to moonlight as a cable television host, Mason said: “She is often on national news. The attorney general is always working, she is available 24/7 and works even when out of the state.”
And what did the Florida’s top legal officer discuss during her cable tryout? Not the state’s renewed fight over stand your ground or a private beach law that has everyone confused (neither of which she has weighed in on). Nor the ongoing opioid crisis, for which she is spearheading a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies.
Instead, Bondi opined on topics ranging from the Robert Mueller investigation and the murder of an Iowa jogger to new animal cracker boxes, whether kids should walk the dog alone and colleges that ban snowball fights.
Hot Take: First, I saw her one day on The Five and yes, without a doubt she was auditing for a permanent role. Kimberly Guilfoyle recently left The Five to spend time working with her boyfriend, Donald Trump Jr., on the President’s campaign. That left the need for a female legal analyst on the show. Boxes Pam certainly checks. What’s more is that she was good, so I wouldn’t be surprised if she is offered the job. But to the overtones of something being inappropriate about her appearance on the show...
How many Florida politicians were at the southern border for a day or three playing politics a couple of months ago during the peak of the immigration crisis at the border? How many of them were serving the interest of their communities or their state? Where were the criticisms then? So, how is this anything other than hypocrisy? You have the AG spending three hours during the week on a TV show that doesn’t address Florida specific issues and there’s a problem? Seriously? And this was significant enough to be the lead story for much of the day yesterday?
Additionally, the effort to attempt to assert that she wasn’t concerned about Florida issues because they weren’t topics on the show is also born of ignorance. Either yours or your reliance on the readers to be ignorant of how topics are decided. Having worked as a guest analyst for Fox News a number of times over the years, I can tell you that you have zero control over the topics and the direction of the topics. In fact, commonly the topics you’re briefed on change as you go on-air without notice based on the direction the hosts or producers decide they want to go based on the cycle or recent coverage leading up to the segments. Where she did have control, on the final segment, One More Thing, she did pay tribute to our state including heroes within it. I guessed you must have conveniently missed those tributes.