Presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren recently declined an invitation for a town hall on Fox News. In an Instagram post, the senator wrote that she didn’t want to “invite millions of Democratic primary viewers to tune in, inflate ratings, and help sell ads for an outlet that profits from racism and hate.”
Warren elaborated on the thought-process behind her decision in a Twitter thread, saying that “Fox News is a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists—it’s designed to turn us against each other, risking life and death consequences, to provide cover for the corruption that’s rotting our government and hollowing out our middle class.”
I love town halls. I’ve done more than 70 since January, and I’m glad to have a television audience be a part of them. Fox News has invited me to do a town hall, but I’m turning them down—here’s why...— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) May 14, 2019
In the thread, Warren also emphasizes that she has been open to press coverage from the network, highlighting that she has “done 57 media avails and 131 interviews, taking over 1,100 questions from press just since January." She welcomes them to cover her events "just like any other outlet.”
Though Fox News clearly has a right-wing bias, it’s not unheard of for Democratic candidates to participate in a town hall. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Bernie Sanders recently appeared on the network, with Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand expected to appear in a town hall soon.
Warren’s declaration against Fox News has drawn mixed responses. Chris Matthews of MSNBC defended the decision on his show, calling it “smart” and praising her for sticking to her values. “She doesn't think she'll be somebody's second choice,” he said during a segment on Wednesday. "She's not going to be on anybody's ticket. She's going to be a winner or she's not going to be a winner. It's on the nose for her."
Others were not so supportive, with the women of The View criticizing the decision. Surprisingly, the most opposed was not the “Princess of Arizona” Meghan McCain, but Whoopi Goldberg. “You know what, if you can’t face a Fox audience, you can’t face the U.S. — it’s that simple,” she declared. Co-host Sunny Hostin added: “I think that it’s being very dismissive of so many Americans for her not to go on Fox News...Fox News was the top basic cable network in April. It finished in 2018 as the most watched basic cable network for the third consecutive year both primetime and total day viewers.”
Regardless of what you think of the strategy, Warren has a clear sense of who she is in this campaign. She knows what is important to her, and where she will draw the line. We’ll see where the decision to decline a Fox News appearance takes her, but we can all applaud her decision to call the network what it really is: a racist, fear-mongering toxic wasteland of right-wing propaganda.
Top photo via Wikimedia Commons / Marc Nozell
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Emma Davey is a blog editor for BUST. She recently earned a B.A. in politics and gender, sexuality, and feminist studies from Oberlin College. She is originally from Houston and worships Beyoncé accordingly. You can follow her on Twitter @navel_gazerr if you want to hear her rant about things.