Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez announced on Wednesday that he will not be allowing Fox News to host any of the Democratic presidential debates leading up to the primary elections.
“I believe that a key pathway to victory is to continue to expand our electorate and reach all voters. That is why I have made it a priority to talk to a broad array of potential media partners, including Fox News,” he said, according to the Washington Post.
“Recent reporting in the New Yorker on the inappropriate relationship between President Trump, his administration and Fox News has led me to conclude that the network is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates,” he continued. “Therefore, Fox News will not serve as a media partner for the 2020 Democratic primary debates.”
Perez was referencing a recent story in The New Yorker that alleged that Fox News is a propaganda arm of the Trump administration. The DNC chairman didn’t say the ban applied to the general election debates, where the nominees from each party would square off.
Fox News Senior Vice President Bill Sammon replied, saying, “We hope the DNC will reconsider its decision to bar Chris Wallace, Bret Baier, and Martha MacCallum, all of whom embody the ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism, from moderating a Democratic presidential debate. They’re the best debate team in the business and they offer candidates an important opportunity to make their case to the largest TV news audience in America, which includes many persuadable voters.”
Fox News journalists, as well as journalists for other mainstream media outlets, also fired back at Perez. Some accused the DNC of wanting their candidates to avoid tough questions from Fox News debate moderators.
Political commentators piped up, too.
CNN’s Trump-hating Brian Stelter gave a response that seems absurdly non-self-aware when you exchange “Fox News” for “CNN” and “Democrats” for “Republicans.”
“Yes, Fox has a news division. But Fox is mostly defined by its opinion division, where hosts and guests demonize Democrats from morning til night,” he wrote on Twitter. “And people at Fox know that. There was a town hall with Clinton and Sanders in 16, but Fox hasn't held a Dem primary debate since 04.”
Stelter got blasted for that statement.