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Rand Paul returns to cable news

UPDATE: I've changed this post slightly after Evan McMorris-Santoro pointed out that Paul's comeback began on Fox already.

The GOP U.S. Senate candidate in Kentucky, who cut off national media after a 48-hour brawl about his stance on the Civil Rights Act, has opened up again to Fox News. On Saturday, he'll be part of a panel with Andrew Napolitano. The libertarian judge, who's turning his web-only series "Freedom Watch" into a Fox Business Network series, scored Paul for the 10 a.m. debut of his new show. (He scored Sarah Palin too, but she's a Fox News contributor.)

Paul has had friendly interviews with Fox before the post-primary weirdness and since returning this week, but Napolitano's show is an interesting place to go for a couple of reasons. First among them is that Napolitano is a libertarian who oftens waxes wisely and politically incorrectly about the Civil War and, yes, the Civil Rights Act. He and FBN's John Stossel were among the only pundits to wholly defend Paul's CRA stance after his "gaffe" on NPR and the Rachel Maddow Show. Also, Napolitano is a long-time supporter of the Paul family's politics, having spoken at multiple events for Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), and invited both Pauls on his web series many times. His producer, Austin Petersen, is a former Libertarian Party staffer who's also plugged into Paulworld.

"I have been friendly with the Paul camp the last few years," Petersen told me, "and because of their relationship to the Judge, we were able to get him on with Sarah Palin and Rand Paul for a Tea Party Summit. It should be pretty interesting, with our panel consisting of Jim DeMint, Michele Bachmann, and Dick Armey. And of course, it wouldn't be fair and balanced without a full-throated rebuttal from PA Governor Ed Rendell."

You couldn't imagine a TV series more fitting for a Paul appearance. At the same time, you couldn't imagine one where Paul would be more inclined to wax philosophical about libertarian ideas.

By David Weigel  |  June 8, 2010; 4:03 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Election , Media  
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