Brit Hume has been described as a committed conservative.
Although the senior political analyst for Fox News doesn't specifically object to the label, Hume said, "I'm a journalist first."
He said his current role allows him to give his opinion to some extent.
"But, look, I'm not in the business of simply announcing my policy preferences," said Hume, 67. "My business is to look at what's happening and try to provide some informed perspective on it."
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Hume will share his perspective Tuesday night as the featured speaker at the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce's annual meeting and dinner at Century II's Convention Center.
The former anchor of "Special Report with Brit Hume" will talk about how the latest Washington policies influence business and how the outcome of the November elections will affect the political future of the United States.
Hume has spent more than 43 years in journalism, including serving as chief White House correspondent for ABC News. In 1991, he won an Emmy Award for his Gulf War coverage.
Earlier this year, after Tiger Woods' habitual adultery became public, Hume offered advice to the golfer that he might turn his faith from Buddhism to Christianity. Hume was criticized by some, while
others defended his right to express his opinion.
Although his schedule keeps him hopping, Hume calls himself semi-retired. He said he donates almost all of his speaker fees to Youth for Tomorrow, a youth home just outside Washington that was established by former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs.
"If I were to keep the money, the government would get a huge piece of it," Hume said. "The dollars are worth more given away than if I spent them."
Following is a question and answer session with Hume:
Q: Would you give an example of when your "preferences" conflicted with what you reported?
A: I was saying on election night that this was no great mandate for the Republican Party, which remains in bad odor with the public.
That's the lay of the land, that's a fact. I might prefer that it be otherwise, but I'm not going to argue it is otherwise.
Q: What was the election about?
A: It was about the Democrats. It was a protest vote. Republicans made progress at all levels.
It was the most effective way people could protest what they saw coming out of Washington and elsewhere, so the Republicans benefited. But they're a long way from public favor.
Q: How has the financial reform act that Congress passed this summer affected the banking system and business?
A: The rules and regulations... for the banking industry are so burdensome and cumbersome that they interfere with the normal process by which the Federal Reserve makes money available at low rates.
Q: Such as?
A: The latest and most conspicuous example being this $600 billion infusion of liquidity (from buying Treasury bonds). Despite the joke about it, a guy can't drop money out of helicopters.
The regulatory crackdown and new regulatory structure is hindering the process. And it concerns me that the administration does not seem to understand this.
Q: Any more examples?
A: I saw a banker who was talking about the fact that he and his fellow bank officials are going to have to be fingerprinted and be checked out by the FBI under this bill.
Now, I suppose they're trying to keep another Bernie Madoff from turning up. But you don't have to do that to be a member of Congress.
The regulatory atmosphere continues to be a problem that makes life tough for businesses.
Q: Will results of the November election alter any of that?
A: It will slow the growth of it. But, look, between the health care reform bill with all the uncertainties and new regulations that it entails, the financial reform package with all that it entails and the efforts being made by the agencies under pre-existing law to crack down, you've got several things that are already in place.
It will be difficult, if not impossible, to come up with a wave of new regulations in other areas or even in the same areas because they're likely to stall in the Republican House.
But a lot of problems stem from things that are beyond the reach of that unless you can repeal these things. And with the president sitting there with his veto and control of the Senate, it will be difficult legislatively to change those things.
That's the atmosphere under which we're operating. That's why you have so much uncertainty, and uncertainty keeps trillions of dollars on the sidelines that could be critical for growth and employment.
Q: Is Washington gridlock inevitable?
A: Some gridlock is. And gridlock is not a bad thing in some instances. It was basically gridlock, except for very small initiatives, that (brought about) the welfare reform bill during the Clinton administration. The economy was booming, we weren't at war, people were happy and life was good.
I think a lot of business people would say they wished (Washington) had been gridlocked these last two years. People talk about getting things done. But in some cases, what they want is getting things undone.
Q: What kind of governor will Sam Brownback make?
A: I expect he will be a competent governor. It's a different world than the Senate, where you don't really run anything. You're kind of a speaking and voting machine.
But you never can tell. Things arise that you can't predict, and that's when you find what kind of governor you've got.