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William Bennett joins CNN as commentator

Former education secretary bolsters network's conservative lineup
/ Source: The Associated Press

Continuing to load up on conservative commentators, CNN announced Wednesday that radio talk-show host and former U.S. education secretary William Bennett has joined the network as a contributor.

Bennett's hiring comes a week after CNN said former Republican congressman J.C. Watts was also joining to offer regular analysis on politics and government policy.

CNN's sister network, CNN Headline News, said last week that in April it will start a prime-time talk show starring conservative radio talk-show host Glenn Beck.

CNN says it isn't making a rush to the right. A spokeswoman said the network wanted to balance its commentator bench — liberals Paul Begala and James Carville have remained with the network while conservative foils Bob Novak and Tucker Carlson have left.

"Bill's experience as one of the nation's most influential and provocative conservative thinkers will provide our viewers with a unique perspective on many political issues," CNN President Jon Klein said of Bennett, a former Fox News Channel contributor.