Conservative personality Eric Bolling is returning to TV
Eric Bolling is making a comeback. He had enjoyed an increasingly prominent role at Fox News for ten years, including six as a co-host of The Five, until he left the channel under a cloud last September. On May 3, CRTV – an online streaming subscription TV channel – announced that Bolling will host a daily program titled America starting this summer. Bolling will join CRTV's "ad-free, censor-free" conservative lineup that includes programs hosted by channel founder Mark Levin, Michelle Malkin, and Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson.
CRTV website promotion for Eric Bolling's America.
At Fox News, Bolling, 56, a former commodities trader and financial consultant, was the reliably conservative glue that held the program The Five together from its premiere in July 2011 until he was re-assigned to a new show, The Fox News Specialists, that premiered on May 1, 2017. In the wake of Bill O'Reilly's ouster the month before, The Five had been relocated from 5 P.M. E.T. to prime time, and The Specialists, a new talk show co-hosted by Bolling and newcomers Kat Timpf and Eboni Williams, was moved into The Five's former late afternoon time slot.
Over the summer, The Five flopped in prime time, and The Specialists was widely panned. On August 4, Bolling was the subject of a 900-word anonymously sourced article in The Huffington Post that alleged that he had texted a lewd photo to several female colleagues several years earlier. On August 5, Fox News suspended Bolling from his on-air duties. After an "investigation" by Fox, Bolling and the channel agreed to part ways one month later. Bolling has always maintained his innocence of any allegations of impropriety while at Fox, and on August 9, it was announced that he was suing the author of the Huffington Post article for $50 million.
Incredibly, on September 8, the day after the news broke that Bolling was leaving Fox News, Eric Chase Bolling, Jr., 19, the only child of Eric Sr. and his wife Adrienne, was found dead a week after returning to college in Boulder, Colorado for his sophomore year. An autopsy confirmed that he had died of a drug overdose.
After his son's death, which was the result of an accidental opioid overdose according to the Boulder County Coroner's Office, Bolling immersed himself in the subject of the growing opioid crisis and became an activist on the issue. He kept in contact with his friend, President Donald Trump, and for a time it was thought that he might take a job with the administration.
On March 25, 2018, in his first major interview since the events of the previous summer, Bolling was a guest on CNN's Reliable Sources and was questioned by host Brian Stelter.
ERIC BOLLING: Donald Trump is my friend as celebrity Trump, as candidate Trump, and as President Trump. And I do have a lot of conversations with him, one-on-one sometimes, sometimes Oval Office with other people.
And it really has surrounded the opioid crisis recently. We – my wife and I lost our 19-year-old son. You know, the day after he passed, we were having a very hard time, and the phone rang, the cell phone rang, it was President Trump who said, I can't imagine what you're going through. Just understand I'm with you. I'm here to help.
He also called on Thanksgiving Day. We were about to sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, phone rings again, as we're sitting down. It was Donald Trump again.
So, he – we talked about the opioids, what took our son. It was an accidental overdose, and I realized at the moment he cared about this crisis. It was something that he was – you could feel he had empathy and compassion for, and it's something you don't see him showing on TV quite a bit.
So, I said, would you mind if the next time I'm in D.C., if I could sit down and we talk? And sure, I've had three or four one-on-one conversations with him, a couple of phone calls. And it's always been around the opioid crisis, some policy stuff, too. I have some great ideas for infrastructure.
Bolling's live discussion with Stelter on CNN on March 25 was the most extensive interview he had given since leaving Fox News and the death of his son. The whole segment, which runs about 13 minutes, begins at 11:27 A.M. E.T., or 27 minutes into the hour-long program. It includes a revealing Q and A about Bolling's experiences at Fox News, and the transcript is well worth a read. The segment concludes with this exchange:
BRIAN STELTER, HOST CNN Reliable Sources: A year from now, you think you'll be in the government or you'll be on television?
BOLLING: All I know is, at this moment, my goal in life is to save families from the opioid scourge that we have been – honestly, horrendously dealing with for the past seven months.
BOLLING: Losing a child is nowhere anyone should be, and hopefully, what I'm doing with the opioid push with the White House, with the help of the White House, will save some lives. And that's really my – I'll let God light the next path for me. Right now, that's my only path.
Bolling has reportedly been in talks with several other major and potential future media outlets about hosting a show. His new gig with CRTV online will not necessarily preclude a simultaneous job with a cable outlet. Possibilities that have been mentioned include something with a new conservative cable network that may emerge from the proposed acquisition of Tribune Media by Sinclair Broadcasting Group.
Bolling said he will be relocating from New Jersey to Washington, D.C. soon so he can host his new CRTV program from the nation's capital.