Fox News host Chris Wallace on Thursday that said the Democratic Party’s refusal to allow Fox News to host any of its 2020 presidential debates is a symptom of what ails the party.
“I think that the left wing of the party — you know how we talk about Trump derangement syndrome, or Obama? I think that (in) the left wing of the Democratic Party there is Fox derangement syndrome,” Wallace said on Brian Kilmeade’s Fox radio show.
As reported by The Western Journal, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said that Fox News will not host any of the proposed debates.
“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,” he said in a statement, according to the Washington Examiner.
The New Yorker story Perez referenced summarized Fox News connections to Trump, beginning with former Fox executive Roger Ailes and continuing through Trump’s close relationship with Fox host Sean Hannity.
“And even though they know that Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier and I would give a fair debate, the idea of anything with ‘Fox News presents the Democratic debate’ — and they were just looking for an excuse and The New Yorker article gave it to them,” Wallace said on Kilmeade’s show.
“Do I think Tom Perez read the New Yorker article and suddenly said, ‘Oh, my gosh, there’s gambling going on in the back room?’ No,” Wallace added in interview with The New York Times.
“There is a visceral antipathy to Fox News among the left wing of the Democratic Party, and I think they saw this as a good opportunity to make a decision that I’m sure the D.N.C. was under a lot of pressure to make,” he said.
Wallace said the Democrats are hurting themselves.
“There are a lot of voters that a Democrat is going to need to get elected president who watch Fox News. People in the Rust Belt states, the rural areas that Hillary Clinton lost. They would have been able to see the Democratic candidates make their arguments about why they’re better able to represent their interests,” Wallace said.
He also wistfully noted, “There would have been a certain man-bites-dog quality to it: the Democrats showing up on Fox.”
Wallace said that Fox, like its rivals, has hosts who are unbiased journalists, as well as those who are highly opinionated commentators.
“I can understand where some of the programming on Fox News, at various parts of the day, would give Democrats heartburn,” Wallace said. “I can also understand why there’s programming on in parts of the day on CNN and MSNBC — or, frankly, on the broadcast networks — that would give Donald Trump and Republicans heartburn.”
Wallace also noted that in 2016 Rachel Maddow, who hosts an opinion-driven show on MSNBC, co-moderated an NBC News debate between Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders.
At Fox News, Wallace said, “Sean Hannity and our other opinion people aren’t going to be onstage with the candidates.”
Wallace also mused upon the impact of the decision on President Donald Trump, who tweeted that he might not appear on any “Fake News” network that hosts a debate.
Democrats just blocked @FoxNews from holding a debate. Good, then I think I’ll do the same thing with the Fake News Networks and the Radical Left Democrats in the General Election debates!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 7, 2019
“This does give President Trump a pretty good excuse to decide if and when he’ll do debates in the general election. If the Democrats are going to boycott certain venues, maybe the president will, too,” he said. “I think that’d be a huge mistake; I think that’d be bad for the country. But the Democrats have opened the door to the president being able to say now we’re going to pick and choose where we answer questions from.”
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