‘It is important to distinguish Fox News from the many millions of people who watch Fox News…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Democratic presidential hopefuls are flocking to Fox News after the successful town hall by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on the right-leaning cable news network.
As a result, some Republicans believe it could prompt the Democratic National Committee to reconsider allowing Fox to host one of the Democratic presidential debates.
Prior to this week’s town hall, Sanders was the only Democratic presidential candidate willing to appear on the channel.
He said Fox represented an important voter base that deserves to be heard.
“It is important to distinguish Fox News from the many millions of people who watch Fox News,” Sanders told “The Daily Show.”
The DNC blacklisted Fox News earlier this year while inviting several other networks to host presidential primary debates.
DNC Chairman Tom Perez claimed there was an “inappropriate relationship between President Trump, his administration, and Fox News.”
But after seeing the town hall crowd’s positive reaction to Sanders’s debate with Fox hosts Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, other Democrats are eyeing prime-time spots on the channel, which consistently has the top ratings in the country.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., was the first presidential hopeful to follow Sanders’s example. She will appear in a Fox News town hall on May 8, which will also be hosted by Baier and MacCallum.
Three other 2020 candidates—South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Reps. Tim Ryan and Eric Swalwell—have also contacted Fox.
MSNBC’s left-leaning “Morning Joe” praised the candidates’ decisions to appear on Fox, and called on the DNC to do the same.
“One of the ways to level the playing field is to show up,” host Mika Brzezinski said. “I think Bernie Sanders did great … and Fox did a good job having a diverse audience in there. That’s called TV news. That’s called covering a campaign.”
Political commentator Mike Barnicle agreed and slammed Perez for blocking Fox News from the primary debates.
“Tom Perez, he’s a very good guy, and I like him,” Barnicle said, “but he is so far off the mark here, banning Fox News from the Democratic debate. I mean you’re running for president of the United States, isn’t one of the basic ideas to reach as many Americans as possible?”
He added that candidates unwilling to reach across the aisle before the election would also be unlikely to bridge the bipartisan gap afterward.
“If you’re afraid of Tucker Carlson, how are you going to be president of the United States? Go on to Fox News.”
Baier said the Sanders town hall was “the biggest event yet of the 2020 election season,” with nearly 2.6 million people tuning in.
“The dam has opened up, I think,” Baier said, according to Forbes. “I think it went well, and I think it shows our commitment to being fair and giving time to candidates on the Democratic side.”
Baier was hopeful that seeing leading candidates like Sanders break ranks with the DNC might sway Perez to reach out.
“I think, over time, that’s what’s going to happen, if I had to guess,” he said. “But it’s all the DNC leadership’s decision. We hope they do, we hope they reconsider, and we hope over time that all of these events prove the value of it.”