The Democratic National Committee, which has seen more than its fair share of election controversies over the last few years, has just announced that it will exclude Fox News from consideration in carrying any of the Democrat primary debates during the 2019-2020 election cycle. The Washington Post has the details:
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.
“I believe that a key pathway to victory is to continue to expand our electorate and reach all voters,” said Perez in his statement to The Washington Post. “That is why I have made it a priority to talk to a broad array of potential media partners, including Fox News. 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. Therefore, Fox News will not serve as a media partner for the 2020 Democratic primary debates.”
The DNC seems to have a rather unique view of what constitutes “fair and neutral.” During the often heated primary contest between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, leaked emails from that organization indicated that the power brokers there had already decided in advance that Clinton would be the nominee, and essentially rigged the contest to make sure that Sanders would lose.
Those emails also revealed how various media figures coordinated with the Clinton campaign to provide her with favorable coverage. One of them happened to be Donna Brazille, who once ran Al Gore’s campaign for president and would later take the reins at the DNC for a short time herself, after Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s blatant favoritism toward Clinton caused an uproar among the party faithful. The leaked emails showed that Brazille, a CNN contributor at the time, fed Clinton questions ahead of a town hall debate hosted by the network. I’m not sure that constitutes what anyone might call “fair and neutral” behavior, but it’s pretty consistent with how the DNC gave Bernie the shaft for Hillary.
Then there’s the 2012 debates between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Moderator Candy Crowley—again from CNN—took it upon herself to defend Obama when Romney correctly pointed out that the president had initially denied that the attack which killed four Americans at the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya was, in fact, terrorism. As it’s not the job of moderators to act as on-the-spot “fact” checkers, Crowley’s conduct was shockingly inappropriate—and betrayed a heavy bias that the media had in favor or Barack Obama. Yet somehow, the DNC never worked itself into a tizzy over that.
Perhaps their standards are flexible, depending on who gets favorable treatment?
Of course, this isn’t to be wholly dismissive of the DNC’s concerns about Fox News and its relationship with Donald Trump. If the New Yorker story is indeed true, it represents a dangerous trend for journalism and we should all be outraged. But as we’ve seen from the media’s persistent rake stepping with Kavanaugh, Convington, Smollett, et cetera, Fox hardly began that trend—and isn’t even the most egregious manifestation of it. They just happened to engage in the one kind of bias the Democrats don’t like, because it doesn’t help them.
That’s their choice to make, I suppose. It might be less tacky, though, if they could just spare everybody the righteous indignation.