CREDO Action

Tell Democrats: Don't Legitimize FOX News with a presidential debate

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Petition to Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez:

"FOX News is a hate-spewing propaganda network that shills for the Republican Party. Do not legitimize it with a 2020 Democratic presidential debate."

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    Tell Democrats: Don't Legitimize FOX News with a presidential debate

    FOX is a vile, hate-spewing, misogynist dumpster fire of an organization that sparks violence and serves as Donald Trump's personal propaganda network while masquerading as a news company.

    Apparently Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez is considering letting FOX host a 2020 Democratic presidential debate. We have to make sure he changes his mind and refuses to normalize or legitimize Fox in any way.

    Tell Tom Perez: No Democratic presidential debate on FOX.

    Recently, Perez told a FOX News host asking about the network hosting a 2020 debate: “Absolutely, we’re having discussions with Fox and others.”1 After a disastrous debate in 2004 where the network disparaged Democrats from start to finish, the Democratic Party wisely has not allowed FOX to host a debate for over a decade.2 It is flabbergasting that now – when the network is worse than ever – Perez is considering changing that policy.

    Hosts and guests on Fox News offer a steady stream of racist rhetoric and paranoid conspiracy theories to keep Trump's approval ratings high among his Republican base. With a perfect feedback loop between Trump and his friends at Fox, it is no surprise that white supremacist violence and unchecked government corruption are on the rise.

    The network systematically drums up xenophobia and racist fears. One guest on Laura Ingraham's show said that Central American refugee caravans are seeking “the destruction of American society and culture."3 Fox News host Brian Kilmeade asked whether the caravan would bring disease,4 and another host casually asked a Trump official whether the migrants would be shot at.5 A debate won't win any hearts and minds. It would legitimize FOX and make it more difficult to push back against its lies.

    Tell Tom Perez: Don't legitimize FOX with a presidential debate.

    Fox News has always stood for far-right extremism. But with Trump in power, the network is pumping up the hate and fear to new heights. In today's increasingly toxic media climate, hate crimes are rising, especially against people of color and Jews. The suspect who sent pipe bombs to the homes of Trump's political opponents unsurprisingly had a Twitter feed full of Fox News clips, and his first target was Jewish philanthropist George Soros, who is frequently demonized by the network.

    Fearmongering leads to violence. The shooter who killed 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue said he was motivated to kill because of the congregation's support for immigration. His twisted logic depends on believing the kinds of conspiracy theories that Fox News promotes. The network characterizes the caravan as an invasion, and promotes the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that powerful Jewish elites are responsible.

    Funding Fox News means supporting the intensification of racist violence. A number of advertisers have left the network or refused to sponsor its most hateful shows. Why on earth would the Democratic National Committee agree to let the network host a debate?

    Tell Tom Perez: Don't legitimize FOX with a presidential debate.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Gideon Resnick and Maxwell Tani, "Activists Blast DNC for Even Considering a Fox News Debate," The Daily Beast, Feb. 26, 2019.
    2. Bill Scher, "Rabid Fox Gets Bitten Again," HuffPost, Feb. 22, 2007.
    3. Adam Serwer, "Trump’s Caravan Hysteria Led to This," The Atlantic, Oct. 28, 2018.
    4. Stavros Agorakis, "A Financial Times editor calls for a Fox News advertiser boycott," Vox, Oct. 29, 2018.
    5. Serwer, "Trump’s Caravan Hysteria Led to This."

    Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images