I typically watch one news program during the week, Brit Hume's "Special Report" on Fox News. He is the only anchor I can stay with each day for one hour. Many claim he is a "Right-Winger" I believe he is the only fair and balanced person bringing the news.
I might include Lester Holt on MSNBC whom I'm familiar with from his days in Chicago. Holt is the only bright light at MSNBC, lingering around the blatantly outrageous, one-sided news you'll find there.
There is a formal bearing about Hume that transcends his suspenders and American flag lapel pin. He speaks deliberately, unhurriedly, making his points with logic rather than passion. On a network filled with flamboyant personalities, he gave his nightly program the bland title "Special Report."
Fred Barnes, an old friend and regular panelist on "Special Report," says Hume has essentially rejected the Beltway social scene.
"He doesn't go to the Kennedy Center," Barnes says. "He doesn't want to have dinner with Cabinet members or hang around with other people in the press. It's not normal for a person at the top of the heap in Washington."
Despite an aura of self-confidence bordering on cockiness, Hume shies away from self-promotion.
Hume, like his network, has clearly become a lightning rod in a polarized media environment. Hume is almost evangelical in his belief that he is fair and balanced while most of the media are not, an argument challenged by several studies showing that his program leans to the right.
Hume is no partisan brawler in the mold of some of Fox's high-decibel hosts. By virtue of his investigative background, his understated style and his management role, he represents a hybrid strain: conservatives who believe in news, not bloviation, but news that passes through a different lens, filtered through a different set of assumptions.
"Sure, I'm a conservative, no doubt about it," Hume says. "But I would ask people to look at the work." He does not accuse his fellow journalists of pursuing a partisan agenda, saying their bias is "unconscious."
"One of the things he needs is to be respected and thought of as somebody who matters in the world, and he's very upfront about that," says Kim Hume, who is Fox's Washington bureau chief. "But he is not egocentric in the normal sense of what you think of a TV anchorman."
In a world of extreme bias in news reporting I contend the conservative Hume reports news and parks his ego offsite. "Special Report" is news with opinion on the panel in the last 15-20 minutes of the show. Hume challenges, he does not instruct. Hume consistently stays on topic, in a class and gentle manner.
If studies have shown Hume to lean right maybe it's because other shows are so extreme to the left. Hume is steady and his show is news worthy. "I was trying to develop a show that wasn't about me," states Hume. He succeeded.