Senator Reid: are you trying to lead? Or trying to widen the divide?

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Above is a headline from a story on Mediaite. I don’t get Senator Reid. Senator Harry Reid has been ON THE RECORD at 10pm and I bet he would tell you that he got a fair interview. I know he liked it. I even traveled to his home in Nevada to make sure he felt comfortable when we talked. I am polite with every guest and have been fair to every guest – including Senator Reid – for my almost 20 years as a cable news host. I have interviewed Democrats, Republicans and Independents. I don’t get personal. I ask tough and blunt questions but he and other politicians should want that. And here is the big secret: yes, I work for Fox News Channel ….but so do many others, including journalists who put their lives on the line in dangerous places even around the world to do an important job.

In these very difficult times, we need leaders. We need them badly. We don’t need Senator Reid, as the Majority Leader in the Senate, being petty or obnoxious, playing to his partisan crowd and working towards driving a deep wedge. The quote attributed to him in this headline disgracefully demonstrates he is not trying to bring Americans together but to drive them apart. He is trying to stir up a food fight and get himself deep into it. Leaders bring us together. They don’t work on dividing us.

I admit leaders have a tough job – but they should at least try to make things better and not engage in a campaign of divide. The media (all news organizations) can be rough and at times wrong or even over the top. But the role of the leader is to rise above it all. President Clinton worked both sides of the aisle…so did President Reagan. They were leaders. They both had political enemies but they worked hard to rise above their enemies for the good of the country. That is what leaders do.

If a politician’s fundamental goal (and especially one in leadership) is to provoke a fight, and not to search for common ground, we are in deeper trouble than you can imagine.

I am on the Board of the National Institute for Civil Discourse that grew out of the tragic shooting of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. As a member I hope that we can get our leaders to also look at themselves – not just others.

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