The co-hosts Fox New’s “The Five” expressed concern Wednesday over NBC’s decision to name Rachel Maddow as a moderator for the first Democratic presidential debate later this month.
Other moderators who will join Maddow on June 26 and 27 include Co-anchor of “TODAY” Savannah Guthrie, NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, moderator of “Meet the Press” and NBC News political director Chuck Todd and “Noticias Telemundo” anchor José Diaz-Balart.
“They knew they could make this brazen choice because they knew no one would call him on it, right?” co-host Greg Gutfeld asked.
Katie Pavlich responded, “Yeah. The idea they will pick Rachel Maddow but won’t do a Fox News debate with moderators who are in the news business really is astounding to me. Rachel Maddow is basically a conspiracy theorist if you look back at all the Russia coverage that she did, that she claimed was factual. Let’s question what she actually got right — very, very little of it.”
“This is all about the double standard, right? Conservative media, conservatives are never allowed to ask the questions,” she continued. “Whenever they get a question at the White House press briefing or during a press conference they are berated by the press as not real journalists capable of asking questions. But Rachel Maddow can moderate a debate. It’s a double standard.”
Gutfeld then brought up how Fox News’ “labels” their personnel between opinion hosts and journalists. (RELATED: 2020 Democrats Private Woo Wall Street While Publicly Snubbing Corporate Cash)
“I would say generally we have had people who have opinions at the debate moderators. But, I think this is sort of egregious and I’ll tell you why. I think we try to abide here at fox that there is a line between people who are opinion and people who are news. Some people criticize. Look, I have seen this line, and I think the public is best served when it’s not blurred,” Juan Williams chimed in.
Both Hugh Hewitt and Mary Katherine Ham moderated GOP debates in 2015 and 2016, which Williams referenced.
He continued, “It seems to me as someone who has done a debate for Fox, it would — I can’t believe that MSNBC is doing this and I think to pick up on what you were saying I’m surprised that the Democratic Party isn’t saying, ‘Hey, we don’t like it because it then opens the door to conservatives doing the same thing down the line.'”
Gutfeld then joked that Maddow moderating the debate opens the door for co-host Jesse Watters to host a future debate.
The hosts of The Five were not the only Fox News personalities to question NBC’s choice. Sean Hannity also mocked the selection and suggested he and the other opinion commentators at the network should be permitted to moderate a debate.