Bernie Sanders is heading into the proverbial lion’s den, a decision that is earning the Vermont Senator both praise and pushback.
Sanders announced this week that he would be participating in a town hall broadcast on Fox News, a news outlet that has generally not been very kind to Sanders or his progressive platform. The decision has drawn controversy, as the Democratic National Committee had already announced it would not let Fox News host Democratic primary debates after an expose showed the network purposely killed stories that would have been damaging to Donald Trump.
As Newsweek noted, some other Democrats questioned Sanders’ “loyalty” to the party by appearing to go around the party’s decision to avoid Fox News. Sanders came under fire during the 2016 campaign for his previous criticism of the Democratic Party, as Sanders had been a longtime independent, and resisted joining the party until before running as a Democrat.
But others have praised Sanders for bringing his message to what could be an unfriendly audience, as the party had been criticized for focusing on too narrow a swath of voters.
Sanders appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah this week to discuss his decision to appear on Fox News, saying he wants to bring his message to the largest possible audience. As Real Clear Politics noted, Sanders noted how he appeared at a town hall with Fox News host Bret Baier in his 2016 campaign and he was impressed at how straightforward it went. Sanders said that they went over ground rules before going through with the town hall, and said he wouldn’t hesitate to go back this time around.
As Sanders said, it is always important to separate the audience from the medium. He also doesn’t want to pass up the opportunity to remind Fox News viewers that Trump hasn’t followed through on his promises to them.
“To me, it is important to distinguish “Fox News” from the many millions of people who watch Fox News. And I think it is important to talk to those people and say, you know what? I know that many of you voted for Donald Trump, but he lied to you,” Sanders said. “He told you, for example, he was going to provide health care to all people, now he wants to throw 30 million people off the health care that they had. He told you that he was going to give tax reform that would not benefit the wealthy.”
Bernie Sanders will be appearing on Fox News next week for the town hall event.