Six reasons the DNC blacklisting of Fox News for presidential debates is a spectacular mistake
Tom Perez, chair of the Democratic National Committee, has handed a gift to President Trump with his announcement that the party would not allow Fox News Channel to provide a forum for presidential debates among its contenders for the nomination.
In a statement Wednesday, DNC Chairman Tom Perez cited a story in the New Yorker magazine this week that detailed how Fox has promoted President Trump's agenda. The article, entitled "The Making of the Fox News White House," suggested that the news network had become a propaganda vehicle for Trump.
Here are six reasons why this is a gigantic blunder.
This is a tacit admission that the party's presidential field is afraid of tough questioning, about, for instance, support for the Green New Deal or for tearing down existing segments of the border wall. Rick Santorum may have been the first to respond with the obvious question: "What are they afraid of?"
Other related question easily follow, such as: "If they are afraid of Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, how can they face Vladimir Putin or Kim Jong-un?"
The voting public, other than committed Democrats, already understands that all the other TV networks are heavily biased against Republicans, as many polls have revealed for years now (the latest, from Columbia Journalism Review, confirms this). Refusing to face the one major national network that is remotely interested in challenging untruths or asking hard questions looks like cowardice.
Perez has inadvertently de-legitimized all of the debates that will occur on non-Fox outlets. The new blacklist only confirms that the DNC institutionally recognizes that its candidates need "safe spaces" where only journalists biased in their favor are allowed to question their candidates — people like Martha Raddatz of ABC News, a moderator of a 2016 debate, whom Trump mocked for weeping on air as election results came in showing that Trump was going to win the election.
YouTube screen grab.
There now will be increased interest in critiquing those debates for the questions that were not asked, or the follow-ups that were not explored.
Perez has confirmed that Democrats have nothing to fear from the other networks, because (the obvious implication goes) they are friendly. He thus drives home the contention that they are fake news media.
A majority of the public doesn't trust the media. Aligning the Democrats with distrusted institutions is not good branding.
Perez has handed the initiative to President Trump, who immediately spotted it (or, as the MSM cliché goes, "pounced"):
Democrats just blocked @FoxNews from holding a debate. Good, then I think I’ll do the same thing with the Fake News Networks and the Radical Left Democrats in the General Election debates!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 7, 2019
Presidential debates inevitably favor the challengers. Trump can push them in that direction by agreeing to debates only if Fox News is included. That forces them to either accept FNC or have no debates at all. If they accept, that makes FNC the debate worth watching. The rest are discredited as Democrat "safe spaces," As Soopermexican of The Right Scoop puts it: "Hilarious. And really, who holds all the cards here? The no-name Democrats that most people have no idea about, or the president of the most powerful country on Earth?" He predicts that Democrats will cave, in order to protect their shot at challenging the incumbent face to face after their nominee is selected.