Phil Donahue, is probably as far-left as a TV show host could be, at least in his time. And yet even with his staunch slant and support for government interference, government assistance and government taxation, he was a hell of an interviewer. Especially when it came to intelligent people who came from lets say the opposite side of the political spectrum. Someone like a Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand would be another example. Not sure if he ever interviewed Bill Buckley, but that would’ve been a great interview and show as well. Donahue, would let his guests speak. He would also make his case and they would have a back and forth. And he would also get his audience involved.
What you had in Phil Donahue, was a Collectivist. From the left in the form of a Progressive, or even Progressive/Socialist. Making the case that private enterprise, private enterprise and even capitalism come with risks. If not dangerous and perhaps are even bad things. But its better than Marxism and total state-ownership when it comes to economics. But if we’re going to have capitalism and private enterprise, they need to be well-regulated, which means highly regulated, for someone with a more Socialist background. And you need a government big enough to take care of people who don’t do well in the private enterprise system.
Milton, didn’t come the exact opposite direction on the Right. Because he did believe in things like regulations when it came to the environment. And even came out for reforming the safety net, instead of eliminating it. But he didn’t like high taxes and highly centralized government and wanted as little government, especially the Federal Government involvement in the economy. So you would have Donahue in this interview always not just making the case for government and even central government involvement in the economy, but making the case for more government involvement in the economy. And yet these two men could have a very good and productive discussion and debate on these issues. Because they actually listened to each other.