For all of the talk about Fox News favoring the Republican Party over the years, it’s not exactly a common occurrence for sitting Republican politicians to actually host shows on the network.
But that happened on Friday, as Florida Representative Matt Gaetz sat in as the guest host of Outnumbered. A daytime show, Outnumbered‘s format is that one man hosts the show along with four women — and the male host is referred to as “one lucky guy.” Gaetz’s appearance was announced earlier in the day.
There was some controversy, according to HuffPost, in that Gaetz announced on his social media accounts that he was the “host” of the show — while Fox News later said in a statement that the Congressman was not the host, but rather was a “rotating guest.” Gaetz has been a guest on Fox News shows many times.
On the show, Gaetz sat in the middle along with Melissa Francis, Lisa Marie Boothe, Leslie Marshall, and Harris Faulkner. They talked about such topics as the economy, the new Congress, and more.
— Outnumbered (@OutnumberedFNC) January 4, 2019
Gaetz — who is in his second Congressional term and is from Florida’s First Congressional District — is known for his aggressive defenses of President Donald Trump, which has often led him into controversies. In 2017, it was alleged that a Gaetz staffer had sourced language for a resolution from /r/The_Donald, a controversial reddit forum which unequivocally supports the current president.
The congressman was also criticized the following year for inviting the controversial political commentator Chuck Johnson as his guest to the State of the Union address. Gaetz also once appeared on the radio show of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, although he and Jones later had a falling out, Orlando Weekly reported.
— JoeMyGod (@JoeMyGod) January 4, 2019
Gaetz, to his credit, was one of the few politicians who failed to bite when confronted by one of Sacha Baron Cohen’s characters on the 2018 Showtime series This is America. Gaetz showed a skepticism when Cohen, in character as Israeli Col. Erran Morad, proposed a program for arming children. Several other Republican lawmakers fell for the ruse.
While appearances by sitting lawmakers as hosts on Fox News are rare, it has happened a few times. Senator Lindsey Graham sat in the male seat on Outnumbered last year, while Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi appeared for several days on the show last spring. Other politicians have gone to work for Fox while in between their stints in elected office, including John Kasich and Newt Gingrich.