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Is Sally Kohn the Next Rachel Maddow?


The lesbian, left-of-center Fox News pundit may have a strong future in TV


Sally Kohn (center) on Fox News Channel / Photo courtesy Fox News Channel

Sally Kohn, 35, has worked at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, has run a feminist organization, and lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, with her partner and her 4-year-old daughter. She recently tweeted that she was a "co-squad leader" at the Park Slope Food Coop. But, unless you watch Fox News, you may have never heard of her. In a New York Times profile, Kohn's unorthodox rise to national attention and left-wing political punditry is explained. It seems to have started with her critique of the vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan's Republican National Convention speech, "Paul Ryan's speech in 3 words" and has only grown from there.

In her own words, she says, "I was one of those people on the left who was frustrated, and there were a bunch of us, that the institutional progressive movement had, for lack of a better word, had sewn its lips to the rear end of the White House...I was about movement politics, about ideas, about vision, about how to get regular people engaged in the process of making the world a better place."

Kohn received training at the Women's Media Center and mentorship from Geraldine Ferraro and MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes and, after sending an email to Fox's Roger Ailes, was signed to a contributor contract to become a progressive pundit on the notoriously conservative TV station.

Are you starting to recognize hints of a young Rachel Maddow? Well here's the clincher: Kohn tells the Times "she would like to have her own cable show, but for the moment she is still cobbling together a living from her various outlets. She is paid when on Fox News, but not for writing. The liberal Web site Daily Kos urged supporters to donate to her after the Paul Ryan commentary. She received some $4,000. "I was so touched," she said.

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