S.E. Cupp’s show “Unfiltered” debuts on Monday night, but don’t expect the longtime conservative commentator to abide by typical mainstream media rules regarding political correctness — she prefers common sense.
“On both sides of the aisle, political correctness is used as a cudgel to animate both liberals and conservatives and the more important thing to focus on is common sense,” Cupp told TheWrap. “If common sense is our guiding principle, both in life and politics, we can actually make things a lot easier for ourselves.”
“S.E. Cupp Unfiltered” aims to address contemporary issues impacting everyday Americans through energetic debates that will feature a rotating cast of guests and regular panelists.
Cupp said that political correctness has resulted in a major backlash and she plans to “dismantle” examples on a regular basis with her new platform because many political and media figures seem to have “forgotten” what
“In a world where everything was once offensive, now nothing is offensive,” she said. “Neither is really a good place to operate in.”
Andy Levy, who is the former co-host of Fox News’ “Red Eye,” will join Cupp as a senior producer and panelist with regular appearances on “Unfiltered.” Despite Levy’s involvement, Cupp doesn’t expect the show to feel like an HLN version of “Red Eye.”
Cupp and Levy are longtime friends who have wanted to join forces for a “really long time,” but she said the aim of “Unfiltered” is to look and feel completely different from anything currently on cable news.
“We’re really trying to do something that doesn’t look like cable news at all. I’m hoping that when people watch for the first time, it doesn’t remind them of anything,” Cupp explained.
Cupp wants to give viewers a fresh experience and said that CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker has taken a hands-off approach when planning the show. CNN has famously been critical of President Trump but Cupp is an outspoken conservative, so landing a platform on CNN’s sister station will allow viewers to hear a different type of voice.
“HLN’s audience is slightly more center-right, slightly more female, slightly younger,” she said. “That’s really the impetus in putting someone like me in the lineup. It’s no reaction to CNN or anything like that.”
Cupp said Zucker has allowed her team to guide the creative and editorial decisions for the program itself “without a whole lot of intervention.”
Cupp said that there is a need for “news that hits home,” and feels that HLN is the perfect network for that type of content in today’s political environment. She said her show will allow for news stories to be discussed “in a different way” and aims to be more relatable to the average American.
She wants most of the guests and panelists outside of Levy to remain a mystery for now but said her “dream panelists” are already booked for launch week.
“We got real lucky,” Cupp said. “I’m pretty excited about our launch week panelists.”
GOP Congressman Adam Kinzinger, CNN personalities W. Kamau Bell and Van Jones are expected to appear at some point this week but Cupp promises “some fun, surprise guests” that will make an appearance. “If you’re a Barstool [Sports] fan, you might be pleased,” she said, teasing an appearance by someone from the popular media site whom she declined to name.
Cupp previously co-hosted “Crossfire” on CNN and “The Cycle” on MSNBC. She has recently been making regular appearances across HLN and its sister, CNN.
“S.E. Cupp Unfiltered” premieres on Monday, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. ET on HLN