CNN Hires Conservative Commentator

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Cable News Network said it hired former Reagan administration cabinet member
William Bennett to contribute to its American Morning with Paula Zahn
show and other programs.

Bennett adds a conservative voice to CNN, which has been labeled in the past
as a liberal news network.

CNN said Bennett will contribute commentaries on social and cultural issues,
but the former secretary of education won't do political commentaries.

While some CNN staffers regularly voice opinions on debate programs such as
Crossfire, Bennett's role -- offering opinion during traditional news
programming -- appears to be a first for CNN.

CNN rival Fox News Channel, which is leading CNN in the all-news ratings war,
incorporates commentary into some of its programs, such as The O'Reilly
Factor
.

And MSNBC recently hired former Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes
to host a talk show, Alan Keyes Is Making Sense.

Bennett is director of public-policy group Empower America, which is 'devoted
to ensuring that government actions foster growth, economic well being, freedom
and individual responsibility,' according to the organization's Web site.

Under former President Bush, Bennett was the U.S. drug czar. He was President
Reagan's secretary of education from 1985 through 1988.

Bennett's first CNN commentary is scheduled for March 4.

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