Massachusetts Senator and Democratic 2020 candidate Elizabeth Warren is not fucking around with Fox News, saying on Tuesday that she is turning down an invite to do a town hall-style event on the network.
“Hard pass,” Warren said in a Tuesday statement, where she also blasted the network as a “hate-for-profit racket.”
Warren is the first major Democrat candidate to openly reject a possible Fox News town hall—something many of her 2020 peers have eagerly pursued after Sen. Bernie Sanders garnered surprising support (and major TV ratings) during his time in front of a Fox studio audience.
“Hate-for-profit works only if there’s profit, so Fox News balances a mix of bigotry, racism, and outright lies with enough legit journalism to make the claim to advertisers that it’s a reputable news outlet,” Warren explained in her statement. “It’s all about dragging in ad money—big ad money.”
In fact, a Media Matters study released Monday found that even the “legit journalism” side of the Fox News operation didn’t go a single day without pushing misinformation during the first four months of the year. And while Sanders’ town hall showed there may be some discrete value in appeasing Fox by speaking directly to its viewers, that value is fatally undercut by the network’s bad faith “reporting” and vitriolic commentary.
“I won’t ask millions of Democratic primary voters to tune into an outlet that profits from racism and hate in order to see our candidates,” Warren also said. “Especially when Fox will make even more money adding our valuable audience to their ratings numbers.”
As Warren noted in her statement, she has already done dozens of town halls and interviews over the past several months—media availabilities to which “Fox News is welcome...just like any other outlet.”
But, she concluded: “A Fox News town hall adds money to the hate-for-profit machine. To which I say: hard pass.”