New York – When it comes to helping heal a divided nation, two members of The Five on Fox News Channel recommend a healthy exchange of disparate views – and plenty of listening.
Juan Williams and Kimberly Guilfoyle, who sometimes spar with each other on their 5-p.m. daily show, praised the merits of dialogue and keeping an open mind at The Diversity Discussion on Tuesday. Their conversation with R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News followed Univision anchor Maria Alena Salinas saying the presidential election’s surprising outcome left many people “crying and afraid.”
Guilfoyle, who has more of a conservative bent than Williams on the show, said the media has a chance to improve on how the country is covered with lessons learned from Donald Trump’s victory. “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. 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.’ ”
Guilfoyle also said it would be helpful for the president-elect to “reach out to these communities that did feel that they were disenfranchised or being singled out” in the election.
She said she and Williams “I think … both remain optimistic and positive” Trump will take that opportunity.
Williams said formats like The Five in which people of differing viewpoints talk, debate and have “legitimate discourse that could lead to common understanding” can help at a time when people turn to information and opinion sources that support their own views (and prejudices). “What’s critical is in the midst of that that they would be able to hear a different idea, a different story, a different perception,” Williams said.
Viewers tend to tune to Fox News longer than other channels, which Williams said was “because they want to hear the end of the story,” equivalent to a “driveway moment” at his former employer, NPR.