Brit Hume Signs Off From 'Special Report'

Brit Hume Signs Off From 'Special Report'

FOX News Special Report With Brit Hume - December 23, 2008

HUME: Welcome back. As you may know, this is my last evening anchoring "Special Report." I will be back in the new year in a new capacity. More about that later.

But first, join me in watching something the staff here put together. I, like you, will be seeing this for the first time.


HUME: Welcome to Washington. I'm Brit Hume and I will be here at this time each night...

"Special Report" is about the struggle for power in the national government, about the power struggle in Washington.

JIM ELDRIDGE, SR. PRODUCER, 1998-2007: We were supposed to have a month to get it ready in January and then start sometime in February of 1998.

BILL CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I did not have sexual relations with that woman.

ELDRIDGE: And then Monica Lewinsky happened. And we thought, let's just go ahead and start it.

BOB ARMFIELD, DIRECTOR, 1996-PRESENT: We were as prepared as we could be, but the show went fine, and it's been going ever since.

CARL CAMERON, CORRESPONDENT, 1996-PRESENT: I saw him in the hall, and it was great. He came sort of swooping down, with his jacket trailing behind him, and he was excited to be there.

MAJOR GARRETT, CORRESPONDENT, 2005-PRESENT: When I was a newspaper reporter and I would watch people on television, the one I always wanted to be most like if I ever got into television was Brit.

JIM ANGLE, CORRESPONDENT, 1996-PRESENT: He had the mind of a journalist, and that's all he ever thought about, was getting the story and getting the story right.

CAMERON: He has pounded me on craft, craftsmanship, how to write a story, how to keep it simple.

HUME: Hello, Carl.

CAMERON: Hi, Brit. How are you?

HUME: Your script looks much improved.

CAMERON: Thank you.

Words matter, Carl.

CHARLIE GIBSON, ABC NEWS COLLEAGUE: I was always saddened when he left ABC and went over to Fox. But I remember talking to him when he first went over there, and he was talking about what a pleasure it was to work with young reporters who he thought would develop into something really fine in this business, and you could see the pride in his eyes.

BRET BAIER, CORRESPONDENT, 1998-PRESENT: When I got a thumbs-up from Brit or heard through the grapevine that he liked one of the pieces, that was it. It was a big, big deal.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: After decades of hard work, you have become one of the most respected journalists in the business. You're a role model for young reporters. And while you leave big shoes to fill, we hope many are inspired to follow in your footsteps.

DOUG ROHRBECK, SR. PRODUCER, 2007-PRESENT: Brit is often thought of as a contrarian, that whether or not everyone is reporting a story a certain way, it shouldn't make a difference.

HUME: Fairness is not an attitude. Fairness is a skill.

ELDRIDGE: He has wanted everything to be precise, correct, honest, fair, balanced.

DICK CHENEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I've always known you to be a skilled and fair-minded reporter. You have lived up to that standard every day of your career, and you've made "Special Report" one of the finest news programs in the world.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Brit, here we are memorializing you and you're not even dead yet. But time marches on. You've done a great job there on your day-to-day leadership role at Fox.

HUME: Joining me now to chew all this over today, from today, are three very famous Fox News contributors.

There is a panel. I believed from the start of this show that people like to hear journalists analyze -- not necessarily judge, but analyze -- issues.

BARNES: Brit wants you to come prepared. He wants you to know a lot. He wants you to have some facts at your command, but he also wants you to come to play.

MARA LIASSON, PANELIST, 1998-PRESENT: He sets a high standard, but he's also incredibly supportive and fun to work with, and also hysterically funny.

HUME: Novak was cited for failing to yield the right-of-way.

We're in the middle of a segment here. Excuse me.

We have some thoughts about it from a couple of very eager guys, as you might have seen, that couldn't wait to get in here.

KONDRACKE: I've always said and I've told any number of people that if I weren't on this show, it is the show that I would want.

KRAUTHAMMER: That was the worst debate in Western history.


KRAUTHAMMER: And that includes the ancient Greeks.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: One thing that he really loves is words.

HUME: And now the most engaging, scintillating, interesting, absorbing, captivating two minutes in television, the latest from "The Political Grapevine."

MARTY HILL, SR. WRITER, 2006-PRESENT: He is very comfortable with $5 words, and he's not putting on airs. He really talks that way.

ELDRIDGE: I would say that you could call him sort of the Genghis Khan of grammar.

ROHRBECK: We were driving along the highway, and all of a sudden Brit started screaming at the GPS unit. He was yelling at it because it was not using proper grammar.

ARMFIELD: He's a very hard worker, very serious about what he does. He's very good at what he does.

HUME: Now, folks, as you can -- you may be able to tell, the lights have gone out here in the studio in Washington. So I'm broadcasting in the dark a bit here, but...

BAIER: I wish people could hear the banter right before the show, because it's pretty funny.

HUME: So you say it loud to make it have more credibility.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What Prime Minister Major must now decide is how far to carry the program! Screaming!

HUME: As I see you there, Major, in that backdrop, I realize that you're not just an ordinary American journalist. You're a citizen of the world.

GARRETT: Yes, indeed I am.

HUME: What do you want, you want a smile, you want a smirk, you want a...?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A little bit of everything.


CAMERON: Brit gave me this after he wore it on the Hill and at the White House and on the campaign trail. It's totally beaten up now. I've worn it now on three presidential campaign trails, and he wore it for like 10 or 100 years before that.

HUME: Hi, Bret.

BAIER: Hey, Brit.

GARRETT: I called Brit Bret.

History tells us, Bret, that he's -- Brit -- that his efforts...

I shouldn't have done that, Brit.

ANGLE: It's hard to take Brit's place.

Brit, nice to have you in the other chair.

HUME: Thanks, Jim, I like being here.

BAIER: It's so daunting to sit in this chair, because there will never be another Brit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brit loves his family.

GEORGE W. BUSH: And we wish you and Kim a restful, productive retirement, full of joyous moments with your grandchildren, and surrounded by the people you love.

GARRETT: Brit is the best boss I have ever worked for.

CHENEY: Lynne and I wish you all the best in the years ahead, and we congratulate you on a job well done.

ANGLE: Thank you, Brit.

ELDRIDGE: Thank you for setting a standard that we'll all do our very best to live up to.

GIBSON: So, Brit, I salute you, and I wish you well, and I look forward to playing a round of golf or two with you as we move on.

ARMFIELD: Thank you, Brit, for letting me work with you and direct you.

BAIER: Brit, thank you so much for everything you have done for me.

GEORGE H.W. BUSH: I hope you all the best in the future.

CAMERON: All the best. All my love. Thank you so, so much for everything.

ROHRBECK: Brit, thanks for everything.

BARNES: Thank you, Brit.

LIASSON: Thank you, Brit.

KONDRACKE: Thank you, Brit.

KRAUTHAMMER: Thank you, Brit.

HUME: It's fun, it's hard work, but it is rewarding.

Coming here was the easiest decision I ever made.


HUME: Wow. Thanks, everybody, from the bottom of my heart.

After a break, some final thoughts from me to you.


HUME: Finally tonight, as we have noted, starting the 1st of the year, I will have a new assignment here at Fox News as senior political analyst. And I'm delighted to tell you that my good friend and colleague Bret Baier will take over as the anchor of "Special Report," though I will be a frequent part of it in my new job. The program will continue as a serious nightly newscast with a special focus on Washington and politics, and the elements you have come to expect -- solid and balanced reporting of our correspondents, "The Grapevine," and of course the "All-Star Panel" will continue as well.

The success of this program is the work of many people, too numerous to mention here, and I thank all of them for years of hard and highly professional work. But I also want to thank you the viewers, who have responded to it in such numbers. It is your loyalty that makes it all possible, and I hope and trust that that too will continue.

As I have vacation coming, this will be my last night in the anchor chair. Bret will be here after the holidays, and so, in a new year, in a new role, will I.

And that's "Special Report" for this time. Please tune us in next time. And, in the meantime, more news is on the way -- fair, balanced, and unafraid.

For more visit the FOX News Special Report web page.

FOX News Special Report With Brit Hume


Follow Real Clear Politics

Latest On Twitter