Eboni K. Williams is about to start co-hosting a brand new show on the Fox News channel.
Starting on May 1st, Fox will begin airing a show called Fox News Specialists, which will be hosted by Eric Bolling, Katherine Timpf and Eboni K. Williams. This will air during the time slot that was previously occupied by The Five; when Bill O’Reilly left the network, Tucker Carlson moved to 8:00, and The Five moved to 9:00, leaving a space open at 5:00.
So who exactly is Eboni K. Williams, the new Fox News host? Here’s what you need to know about her.
1. She Has a Background in Law
Before getting into the world of broadcast journalism and political commentary, Eboni K. Williams studied law.
According to her personal website, Williams earned her J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. She particularly focused on family law and civil litigation during her studies, working on divorce and child custody cases.
She has also had experience working both as a public defender and as a private defense lawyer throughout North Carolina and Los Angeles.
Williams was a law student when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, and during that time, she clerked for the Louisiana Secretary of State and the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office, in addition to working with members of the New Orleans City Council.
2. She Is a Registered Independent Who Leans Left on Political Issues
Eboni K. Williams will be bringing more of a liberal perspective to Fox News Specialists than her two co-hosts.
Williams has in the past worked as a strategist for Democratic candidates. She said in a 2014 interview that she is a registered independent but that she leans left on political issues.
“That has been one of my greatest challenges which is to break that mold of left-wing ideology and open up a space for something more broad, fluid and something that deals more with policy concerns,” she said. “I’m not going to sit on a network and carry a banner for all democratic officials. I am registered as an independent even though I can fall left on most issues. However, I would like to get everybody to talk about the issues and the policies. That has been my greatest challenge.”
Although Williams is generally to the left of her Fox News colleagues, she says she did not vote for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election. In May 2016, she said on the air that she had not decided who she was going to vote for, leaving the possibility open that she might vote for Trump.
However, Williams says she ultimately wrote in a candidate other than Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.
3. She Is Pro-Choice
On the topic of abortion, Eboni William is pro-choice.
In June 2016, Williams appeared on Fox News to discuss a recent Supreme Court ruling that struck down a Texas abortion law. She debated the decision with Ben Shapiro, a conservative writer who is pro-life.
“I am someone that believes that certainly the unborn child has rights,” Williams said. “I believe the mother has rights. I simply happen to be a person [who believes] that those mother’s rights usurp those [child’s] rights.”
She went on to criticize Ben Shapiro for making pronouncements about abortion even though he is a man.
“Ben, again, you’re not a woman, and as a woman, I am someone that is simply saying it is my position that a woman has a right to dictate the choices around her body, but that is not to ignore or take away from the rights of any unborn child,” she said.
4. She Recently Compared Jeff Sessions’ Immigration Crackdown to Fugitive Slave Laws
During a recent episode of Outnumbered, the Fox News panel was discussing Jeff Sessions’ recent immigration crackdown, particularly his statement that American citizens who harbor undocumented immigrants could be arrested.
Williams said that this reminded her of fugitive slave laws.
“It sounded a lot like fugitive slave laws to me, quite frankly,” she said. “That spirit of…the hyper-criminalizing of some of this behavior, and again, it’s different from what I’ve heard on the campaign stump.”
She went on to say that it’s perfectly reasonable for the U.S. government to go after undocumented immigrants who have committed crimes but that “this is a different tone, a different tenor.”
“I believe in a sovereign state and a stable border, we do not have that, we need to enforce it, absolutely, but I don’t think this is the way to go about it,” she said.
5. She Says Allegations of Russian Meddling in the Election Should Be Taken Very Seriously
A lot of Fox News commentators support President Donald Trump’s view that anyone raising questions about Russia meddling in the 2016 election is just a sore loser who wants to delegitimize the president.
Eboni K. Williams disagrees. During an appearance on The Five a few months ago, Williams said that those who are pro-Trump should still want to get to the bottom of Russia’s role in the 2016 election.
“I think it’s very, very dangerous when we start ignoring what could be very critical facts simply because it doesn’t fit very neatly into a pro-Trump narrative,” she said. “And I’m saying this as someone who is not pro-Hillary Clinton, did not vote for Hillary Clinton, but is concerned with the well-being of America, so I think that’s very, very important.”
After a clip was played in which Donald Trump said that questions of Russian meddling in the election can be chalked up to Democrats being embarrassed about losing the presidency, Williams said that she has a problem with this line of thinking.
“That’s what I have a problem with, by the way,” Williams said. “Just that kind of dismissiveness of ‘It’s not important because I won and let’s move on.'”