Fox News reporters are dismayed Democrats are blacklisting the network from hosting any 2020 presidential primary debates

  • On Wednesday, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez announced that the DNC would not consider Fox News when choosing hosts for the 2020 Democratic presidential-primary debates.
  • The announcement came after a bombshell report from The New Yorker on Monday said President Donald Trump’s administration has unusually close ties with the network and its leader, Rupert Murdoch.
  • Many Fox anchors and journalists criticised the decision on social media.

On Wednesday, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez announced that the DNC would not consider Fox News when choosing hosts for the 2020 Democratic presidential-primary debates.

The announcement came after a bombshell report from The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer on Monday said President Donald Trump’s administration has unusually close ties with the network and Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox News’ parent company, Newscorp.

“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.

Trump has brought many former Fox employees – including Bill Shine, the White House deputy chief of staff for communications, and Heather Nauert, the State Department spokeswoman – into the administration.

Read more: Trump tried to block the $US85 billion AT&T-Time Warner merger to spite CNN, according to a scathing new profile of his cosy relationship with Fox News

The New Yorker reported that when a Fox News reporter first came across the story that Trump directed his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen to pay off Stormy Daniels, who said she had an affair with Trump, in exchange for silence just weeks before the election, she said she was told, “good reporting, kiddo. But Rupert wants Donald Trump to win.”

The network has denied the allegations and previously said the Daniels story was not published because it was not ready for publication at the time.

Fox News also released a statement regarding the DNC’s decision on Wednesday.

“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,” the network said.

Many journalists from Fox and other outlets opposed the DNC’s barring Fox from hosting a debate, citing the work of the news anchors Wallace, Baier, MacCallum, and Shep Smith. All four anchors, in their reporting, have pushed back against claims Trump has made. Wallace and Baier also hosted presidential debates in 2016.

After the DNC’s announcement, Fox anchors, reporters, and contributors took to Twitter to express their disappointment with the decision.

In addition to the Fox hosts, other media members also took issue with the decision. The Politico media analyst Jack Schafer wrote a Wednesday article titled, “If you’re afraid of Shep Smith, you probably shouldn’t be president,” calling the DNC’s decision “shameful political gutlessness.”

Schafer and others said the blacklisting of Fox was unwarranted because straight-news anchors, not opinion hosts such as Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, and Sean Hannity, would be moderating a debate.

Read more: Fox News CEO Roger Ailes tipped off Trump about a 2016 debate question, report claims – the same thing he attacked Hillary Clinton and CNN for

Others said that even if some of Fox’s anchors strike a balance in their reporting and have fairly hosted presidential debates in the past, the DNC’s blacklisting of Fox is justified because the network as a whole goes to extreme lengths to protect Trump.

“There are many things you can call a media organisation that punishes its employees for digging up stories that are politically inconvenient for the Republican Party – ‘a legitimate news network’ is not one of them,” New York magazine writer Eric Levitz said on Wednesday.

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