Democrats would be foolish to let Fox News host any candidate debates


Campaign Action

If the Democratic National Committee is actually toying with the idea of allowing Fox News to host upcoming candidate debates, internal discussions should stop now. It’s a terrible proposal.

While appearing on Fox News last month, DNC chairman Tom Perez appeared to express a willingness to have the right-wing cable network host one of the Democratic primary debates. “Absolutely we’re having discussions with Fox and others,” Perez told anchor Brett Baier, who responded that he was “happy to hear that.”

We’ll find out in coming weeks whether Perez is serious about Fox News landing a DNC debate, or if his comment was more of a throwaway line during a live TV interview. But this whole question should be a no-brainer for the DNC: There are no circumstances under which it would be okay for the Democratic Party to partner with an outlet like Fox News to help voters pick the party’s next nominee.

It’s really unthinkable, and it would mark a clear surrender in the Democratic push in recent years to try to neutralize Fox News as a dangerous propaganda outlet.

The history: Back in 2007, after Fox News tried to smear then-candidate Barack Obama for purportedly attending a radical Muslim school as a child, liberal bloggers launched an initiative to get Democratic candidates to boycott a debate co-sponsored by Fox News and the Nevada Democratic Party. The local party soon canceled its plans with Rupert Murdoch’s network. The boycott, powered by, was then extended to all debates during the 2008 primary season.

Eight years later, the Fox News debate blackout extended through the Democrats’ 2016 primary cycle. The idea of now making a U-turn for the 2020 election season makes no sense. Does anybody think that, since 2016, Fox News has somehow become more deserving of hosting Democratic debates?

Good lord, no.

During Trump’s presidency, the network has only managed to sink further into the sewer, becoming a truly tasteless outpost of white nationalism, anti-Democratic Party smears, and xenophobia, all delivered by Trump sycophants.

Make no mistake: Denying Fox News access to debates is a big deal for the network programming-wise, and sends an important message that Democrats don’t acknowledge it as a serious news player.

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