Attending a class at William & Mary on Monday, Ana Navarro immediately told students that she would answer any and all questions they had.
“I’ll answer to you guys the same way I answer on TV: truthfully and bluntly,” she said.
Navarro, a political analyst and commentator frequently seen on CNN and The View, is William & Mary’s spring 2019 Hunter B. Andrews Fellow in American Politics. She visited the university Feb. 25-26 to give a public lecture, meet with students and faculty and attend classes, including an Introduction to Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies course taught by Visiting Assistant Professor Victoria Castillo.
During that visit, Navarro covered subject areas ranging from her early days in the media industry to the current president to women and power.
“Power is being able to talk to people in a position of making a difference about issues and having them listen,” she said.
Castillo and her students asked Navarro about her time on television, balancing her personal life and her position within media and how her personal views have changed over time, specifically pertaining to gun violence.
“I’ve never been pro-gun, but I am not anti-gun,” she said.
Additionally, Navarro spoke about how media and women’s role in it have changed.
“Sometimes it means having a really hard time balancing life and work,” she said.
She also said that women in media face challenges that men might not.
“It’s very hard,” she said. “You’ll get criticized for your weight, your hair, what you’re wearing, in a way that men don’t.”
Navarro also shared stories of her on-air debates with fellow correspondents and analysts taken outside of the studio — jokingly saying she refuses to debate for free, off-air.
For many, the world of politics is a divisive one. But for Navarro, it provides a place for people of difference to come together and have real conversations, she said.
“I’m on television. I’m not expected to be perfect.”
Navarro’s visit was part of a yearlong commemoration of 100 years of coeducation at W&M. In fall 2018, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jodi Kantor visited campus as an Andrews Fellow.