by Ginny Montalbano
Kimberly Guilfoyle, co-host of “The Five” on Fox News Channel, agreed to an exclusive interview Saturday with The Daily Signal’s Ginny Montalbano during the Young Women’s Leadership Summit. Guilfoyle’s speech that day, at a conference in Dallas organized by Turning Point USA, was not open to media coverage.
Guilfoyle talked to The Daily Signal about her career track, the dynamics and fans of “The Five,” media treatment of powerful women at the White House, and her advice for young conservatives who look to pursue a career in media or politics. The transcript of the on-camera interview has been lightly edited for clarity and style.
Ginny Montalbano: I want to start with how you ended up in media and politics. You’ve had a long career with several different chapters. Can you explain how you ended up at Fox News Channel?
Kimberly Guilfoyle: Yes, so it’s been quite an interesting journey. I attended law school in San Francisco and worked at internships in the [San Francisco] District Attorney’s Office and really decided that that’s what I wanted to do with my life. Be a prosecutor, fight for victims, for women and children that had been abused and neglected. Domestic violence cases, prosecutions against gang members and those coming illegally into the country and committing crimes. Homicide, career criminals, etc.
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So a quite distinct and diverse career. And then [in 2002] I tried a very high-profile case, a dog-mauling case that happened in San Francisco where a wonderful woman, Diane Whipple, was viciously mauled to death by a Presa Canario dog.
That case received national and international attention and currently it set the standard for second-degree, implied-malice murder in the United States. I charged the two attorneys [who owned the dog] with murder for the homicide of Diane Whipple, because the dogs were similar to having a deadly weapon and likely to cause great bodily injury or death since they were trained to kill and attack.
From that case, I got a lot of media requests and offers. Six offers to work in television, [including] ABC News, CNN, MSNBC, Court TV, Fox News. And I decided to move across the country. And at the time, I was first lady of San Francisco [as wife of then-Mayor Gavin Newsom] and going through a few challenges with marriage like many people do, sadly.
I ultimately moved to New York and began a new life in New York and started working for Court TV. I accepted that offer; I had my own show. Then “Good Morning America” as a legal analyst in the morning and an exclusive to CNN at night. I moved from those three to work for the Fox News Channel and hosted a show, “The Lineup,” about crime, politics, all of the above. Now I co-host “The Five.”
Back in San Francisco is where I had started my whole career in politics and working on campaigns at a local grassroots level. From the district attorney’s office, city attorney, board of supervisors. Helping, then, my husband Gavin Newsom run for major of San Francisco; who’s now lieutenant governor of California, running for governor.
I’ve also been fascinated and enjoyed having a front-row seat to American political history, like I do at the Fox News Channel and taking in the world events. Like the summit and North Korea, and all the incredible things that have been going on.
Montalbano: You definitely have a front-row seat and “The Five” is hugely successful. You’re a massive part of that. What are your favorite parts of being on “The Five”?
Guilfoyle: I love it, I love my co-hosts. I love the incredible chemistry that we have. I [am] very close and friends with Dana Perino, Greg Gutfeld, Jesse Watters, and Juan Williams. We have a lot of energy and fun. We love to mix it up, but we have genuine respect for one another.
During the commercial breaks is some of the funniest times. Sadly, the audience doesn’t get to see it, but the crew enjoys it, and the control room. We joke during the breaks and even though we mix it up, we can hit it pretty hard. And sometimes it can get heated, some exchanges. We are able to laugh about it after the show and move on, and then put on a unique, fresh show the next day.
That’s one of the things I love is that no two shows are the same. It’s always changing, we really try to mix it up and we have incredible producers. We put a lot of energy and effort into the show. Rundown comes out about 11 o’clock each day. And we go through it, and it’s changing right up until the show. And in fact during the show, because breaking news always changes everything.
It’s fun. It’s like sitting around the dinner table on Thanksgiving or something with your family. Everybody having different viewpoints, none of it is rehearsed. You never know what anybody is going to say about a particular issue, which I think makes it interesting for us as well, and it keeps it really fresh and vibrant.
I think what’s great is there’s something for everybody watching at home. We get fans coming up to us, whether they are young people, 12 years of age, or high school, or college, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, all the mix. So it’s nice to see and to be able to connect [with] people.
People have a lot of choices about what they watch and what they do with their time. We love that they tune in at 5 p.m. Eastern to be with us and spend an hour.
Montalbano: I’ve been a big fan for a long time. I want to ask you about the media coverage of the Trump administration, specifically the women in the Trump administration: Kellyanne Conway, the first lady, Ivanka, Sarah Huckabee Sanders. What do you make of the coverage, and how do we hold the media accountable?
Guilfoyle: You know, it’s sad because these are really incredible bright, strong, patriotic women serving their country, admirably, at great personal sacrifice. They’ve been dealt an unfair hand by the media who’s just very dishonest in the way that they cover them, portray them, and really dishonor the sacrifice and the service that they give to all of us, each and every day.
For me, I just wish [the media] were better about, in fact, being honest about what the accomplishments are, what the sacrifices are. And really, the personal attacks are just quite disgusting. I felt and experienced personal attacks myself based on beliefs and being a conservative woman.
I just think it’s unfair. It’s not building other people up, that’s for sure. I certainly don’t like it when other women do it to one another.
Montalbano: Well, that leads right into my last question for you: What advice would you give to young conservatives, especially young conservative women, who want to go about a career in politics or media?
Guilfoyle: To the women out there that are thinking about a career in media or politics, go for it. I think it’s one of the most exciting careers, either one, that you could be in. and why not do both, right?
You have enough time in your life and energy and choice and opportunity, especially in this country, to be able to do it. Believe in yourself and you can achieve it. Live your life with no regrets. Don’t be afraid to ask. The worst somebody can say is “no,” and then you figure out how to turn it into a “yes.”
That’s what I do each and every day. I try to make it count, get after it, and live an authentic life.
Montalbano: Kimberly Guilfoyle, thank you so much for being with us.
Guilfoyle: Thank you.
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Ginny Montalbano is a contributor to The Daily Signal. Send an email to Ginny.