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The Insider: Hume on Fun and Fantods

Nov 9, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The Insider had planned to wait a bit longer to do her exit interview with Fox News Channel “Special Report” anchor and Washington managing editor Brit Hume. The newsman is getting ready to retire after 12 years at the network, where he was a founding and defining personality.
But she was struck by how buoyant the usually sober-faced observer of the Washington scene seemed on Election Night as he savored the victory speech given by Barack Obama and the faces of the Obama and Biden children on stage in Chicago.
As he watched Fox’s coverage of the jubilant young people bouncing in front of the White House, he said, “There is something about jumping up and down I think is good for the soul.”
He was having fun! The Insider wanted to catch him while he was still in that glow, so she talked to him the day after the election, after he’d returned to Washington with wife Kim, and genially answered her questions before she had finished them.
The Insider: Admit it: You were caught up in the moment Election Night and were really enjoying yourself to an extent viewers rarely, if ever, have had a chance to see.
Mr. Hume: There are moments when political ceremony is just plain great stuff. I have said before that there was something about the Obama candidacy and its likely success that gladdens one’s heart. Last night, it happened finally, and whatever you think about his agenda and whatever anxieties you may have about him as a person, last night, at that moment, was a glorious moment.
The Insider: So was there a minute in which you thought, “What, am I a nut for giving up a job that gives me such access to moments like this as they happen?” or did you think, “I really couldn’t have picked a better time for closing this chapter”?
Mr. Hume: The latter is the way I felt last night. To me, it’s more like the final exam. I feel today like I took the final; whatever the grade will be, I passed and I have been cleared to graduate.
The Insider: Have you actually set a date yet?
Mr. Hume: Oh, yeah. The end of the year. The first of the year, I’ll have a new contract under which I will work here 100 days next year as an analyst. My title will be senior political analyst.
The Insider: You won’t feel like there’s just something–
Mr. Hume: I won’t feel like I have gotten off the train too soon, and I should have stayed, and wasn’t it great. I don’t think so. I’m ready.
The Insider: How do you envision life being different on a day-to-day basis? What will you do?
Mr. Hume: I thought about the three G’s: God, granddaughters, golf. That’s not comprehensive, because obviously I have a chance to spend more time with my dear wife, who worked with me here for so many years and was a vice president and bureau chief. She retired two years ago. … And since my son died, I have been, really, I felt rescued by God and by Christ. I have an intense desire to pursue that more ardently and have it be a bigger part of my life than it has been.
The Insider: How will that translate?
Mr. Hume: It’ll translate into Bible study. It’ll translate, I think, in the fullness of time, into work that I might be able to do, like to find the right cause, and so on. It’s a big world out there. A lot can be done.
The Insider: On the last day, do you expect that there will be emotion that catches you by surprise?
Mr. Hume: If I expected it, it wouldn’t catch me by surprise, would it?
The Insider: Can you be caught by surprise?
Mr: Hume: Well, maybe. It’s possible. I tend to do my comings and goings fairly quietly. There’s something icky about some big ceremony, a lugubrious going-away, with a lot of melancholy, maudlin carrying on. That stuff kind of gives me the fantods.
The Insider: The what?
Mr. Hume: The fantods. The fantods are basically the willies. Maybe it’s a “Huckleberry Finn” term. I’m at the age where a lot of my slang is hopelessly out of date.

27 Comments

  1. I can’t say it more plainly.
    FNC won’t be the same without Brit Hume.
    Someone may take his job, but no one can take
    his place.
    I am dispirited.

  2. God bless you, Brit!

  3. Good for you “GOD BLESS YOU”…..Always believe in your Faith,Belief.. and….YOUR HEART.

  4. Good Luck brit I wish you well. You are a gentleman and a professional. I hope your replacement is just as wonderful. How about Chris Wallace? Just no shepard smith. Oye he is obnoxious

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