Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez defended the group’s choice not to allow Fox News to host a Democratic presidential debate Wednesday night during an appearance on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes.”
Perez released a statement about the DNC’s decision earlier in the day, saying that Fox News is “not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate,” citing a New Yorker report, which alleged that Fox News has become a propaganda outlet for the Trump administration.
“First question, I guess, is, was it really the Jane Mayer reporting? I mean, the DNC has not given Fox News a debate in a long time. I remember this being a fight ten years ago. Net roots was fighting against it. Did you really need to be tipped over by the Jane Mayer piece? Was that what did it?” Hayes asked.
“Number one, I want to make sure that as many people as possible see our candidates, because I believe that our views, our vision command the respect of the majority of the American people, including people who watch Fox News,” Perez answered. “People, Republicans, Democrats, independents have pre-existing conditions and believe that they ought to be able to keep their health care, including people who watch Fox News.”
“Our second north star principles in these debates is to make sure that whichever network runs them ensures that our candidates are treated fairly. Now, you had the video before of Chris Wallace. I have great respect for Chris Wallace, and my concern is not about Chris Wallace. It’s about people above Chris Wallace,” he continued. (RELATED: NYT Reporter Says Fox News ‘Is Not A News Network)
Our large audience deserves to hear ALL the candidates who are running for the Presidency of the United States. We welcome them all, with our continued commitment to fair, professional journalism. I hope the #DNC will reconsider this decision. https://t.co/Hhep0b2nJK
— Martha MacCallum (@marthamaccallum) March 6, 2019
“Because what we have seen now, and it’s been really most recently now in the New Yorker story, is that at the highest levels of Fox News, they’re not playing it straight,” Perez concluded. “And again, this isn’t about Chris Wallace. I have respect for him. But I do not have the confidence that we need to take such an important part of the nomination process, these debates, and trust them to folks who, at the top levels, are consulting Donald Trump before they do anything. I couldn’t do that.”
Fox News Senior Vice President Bill Sammon slammed the DNC’s decision in a statement Wednesday backing network reporters Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum.
“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,” Sammon’s statement reads. “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.”