Democrats To Bar Fox News From Broadcasting Its 2020 Debates

DNC chairman Tom Perez says the network is incapable of hosting a 'fair and neutral debate' for Democrat candidates.

Tom Perez speaking at a rally.
George Frey / Getty Images

DNC chairman Tom Perez says the network is incapable of hosting a 'fair and neutral debate' for Democrat candidates.

According to a report in HuffPost, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) will not partner with Fox News to broadcast any of the party’s debates during the 2020 election cycle. DNC chairman Tom Perez made the announcement on Wednesday, pointing to new reports alleging that the network is too closely tied to figures in the administration of President Donald Trump to be capable of providing unbiased coverage of the party’s primary debates.

The announcement by Perez comes on the heels of an extensive report published in The New Yorker titled “The Making Of The Fox News White House: Fox News Has Always Been Partisan, But Has It Become Propaganda?” In it, Jane Mayer outlines the various ways reporters for the media organization are uncomfortably cozy with White House staff and administration officials.

Perez cited the article’s disclosures, saying that they led him and the DNC to the conclusion that Fox News, due to its apparent close relationship with Trump – who is after all the probable Republican candidate for president – is incapable of covering the debates that will determine who will be his opponent in the 2020 general election in a non-partisan manner.

“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,” Perez said.

He added that therefore Fox News will not be a “media partner” in the upcoming primary debates.

VP MIke Pence on Fox and Freinds.
Vice President Mike Pence appearing on ‘Fox and Friends’ in December 2016. Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

It’s no secret that Trump has long had a close relationship with Fox News, dating back to his days as a reality television star. He was first given a regular spot on the network’s morning show Fox and Friends all the way back in 2011, and he routinely called in to the show throughout the 2016 election cycle, which gave him a platform to espouse his views on how the other networks’ reporting was “fake news,” networks like CNN, the first outlet against which he used that epithet.

However, Trump’s well-known hatred of CNN could lead to trouble; Mayer’s article alleged he directed the Justice Department to block AT&T’s attempt to acquire Time-Warner, the company that owns CNN, which was presented as retaliation for the network’s reporting on him.

Fox News’ senior vice president and managing editor Bill Sammon responded to the situation.

“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.”