Sally Kohn is a liberal former community organizer who drew the ire of Fox News viewers in recent years as a contributing progressive panelist.
Despite her political stripes however, Kohn recently contributed an essay to the collection titled “The 10 Habits of Highly Successful Women,” compiled by TheLi.st, an exclusive excerpt of which was provided to TheBlaze, expressing great appreciation for her former colleagues at Fox and acknowledging the kindness of conservatives more broadly that is often neglected by fellow liberals.
On Fox News, Kohn states:
“…other liberals, always ask me what it was like to be “in the lion’s den” at Fox News. I could tell them what they probably expect to hear—that everyone has fangs and is very mean. But it’s not true…The people I debated on air, whether Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, or you name it? The folks behind the scenes, whether the head of the network or the producers and camera operators? They couldn’t be more lovely. For me, who certainly walked into the building the first time with a lot of unconfessed stereotypes about conservatives, it was a stark realization about how we put each other into political boxes of “otherness” that have nothing to do with reality. Sean Hannity and I have almost nothing in common politically, but fortunately our politics are only a fraction of who we are as people. And as people, as human beings, we have a ton in common. That’s not to say our political differences aren’t important. I’m a political pundit. Trust me, I think those political differences are incredibly profound and vital. It’s just not the sum total of what defines us.”
Kohn also noted that routinely when traveling outside of New York City, where Fox News is more popular, she is constantly met with folks who begrudge her for her politics but commend her as a person:
“The interactions usually follow the same pattern, with folks saying to me something along the lines of, “I don’t agree with everything you say, but I enjoy watching you. You seem nice.” My all-time favorite variation on this theme was a woman who stopped me in the middle of a rainstorm at Disney World (while I was encased in a plastic rain poncho) and said, ‘You make me want to pull my hair out a lot of the time, but, ya know, sometimes you make good points. And you’re fun.’”
Kohn made these points in context of an argument about “emotional correctness” — a concept that is essential to political persuasion and thus success — in that likability or style in the political realm (whether Nixon vs. Kennedy or Romney vs. Obama) often trump competence and substance:
“Emotional correctness is how we say what we say—the tone and feeling we convey, the respect and empathy we show others not necessarily with our words even, but our style. After all, people won’t hear anything we’re saying if they don’t listen to us first. And we get people to listen to us by being emotionally correct.
Emotional correctness is how we show each other that we care, on a human level, regardless of whether we agree or disagree on political, or any other, terms.”
Note — Benjamin Weingarten discusses this post with TheBlaze Editor-in-Chief Scott Baker: