Warren turns down Fox News ‘hate-for’profit machine’

Jennifer Epstein
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., attends an American Federation of Teachers town hall event, at the Plumbers Local 690 Union Hall in Philadelphia, Monday, May 13, 2019.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said she won’t be following some of her fellow Democratic presidential contenders to Fox News because she doesn’t want to contribute to its "hate-for-profit machine."

Accepting Fox’s invitation for a televised town hall would only help the network sell advertising by balancing its "bigotry, racism, and outright lies with enough legit journalism to make the claim to advertisers that it’s a reputable news outlet," Warren wrote on Twitter Tuesday.

Fox News had no immediate comment.

A handful of Democratic hopefuls have taken Fox up on its offer. They say it’s a way to reach millions of Americans who may not watch CNN and MSNBC – the two cable news channels on which Democrats appear most frequently – and who may be receptive to the Democrats’ message if it comes to them on the channel they watch.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was the first Democrat to appear at a Fox town hall, held in mid-April in Pennsylvania. He drew 2.55 million viewers, more than any other cable news town hall this cycle. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar appeared at a Fox town hall last week and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, has one scheduled for later this month.

The question of whether to appear on Fox News hits at one of Democrats’ central questions – whether to reach out to voters who haven’t traditionally been interested in hearing from them, or instead to focus on cultivating and inspiring voters who already back the party.

Former Representative John Delaney, who announced his presidential bid in January 2018 but has barely registered in polls said in a tweet responding to Warren that “If you’re not using your town hall, I will. Democratic candidates have to campaign everywhere and talk to all voters.”

Warren said she doesn’t need to appear on Fox to reach voters because she’s accessible to them and the media in many other ways.

"I’ve done 57 media avails and 131 interviews, taking over 1,100 questions from press just since January. Fox News is welcome to come to my events just like any other outlet. But a Fox News town hall adds money to the hate-for-profit machine. To which I say: hard pass," she wrote.

Warren has participated in two CNN town halls and has also made multiple prime-time appearances on MSNBC.

With assistance from Anousha Sakoui.