Once again, President Trump has threatened to end freedom of the press in the United States – a clear violation of the First Amendment and his sworn Presidential duty to protect the Constitution.
On Wednesday afternoon, President Trump tweeted: “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!”
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
The President is referring to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) announcement that it had barred Fox News from either hosting or televising candidate debates for the Democratic Party’s 2020 primary election. DNC chairman Tom Perez issued a statement saying that the network “is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates.”
Earlier this week, The New Yorker reported on the unusual ties that seem to exist between President Trump and the Fox News Network, most notably host Sean Hannity and chairman Rupert Murdoch. Sean Hannity is a well-known personal advisor to the President and has spoken at campaign rallies. The President’s deputy chief of staff, Bill Shine, is also a former Fox News president. According to the report, the network buried at least one unfavorable story about Trump ahead of the 2016 election.
Fox News is well-known for devoting much of it’s prime-time hours to commentary that is overwhelmingly favorable of the President, making it a long shot for a Democratic primary debate. However, the New York Times reported that the network pitched the DNC aggressively.
“We hope the DNC will reconsider its decision to bar Chris Wallace, Bret Baier, and Martha MacCallum, all of whom embody the ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism from moderating a Democratic presidential debate,” said Bill Sammon, Fox News’ Washington bureau managing editor.
This isn’t the first time a network has been blocked from hosting a debate. In 2016, Republican officials suspended a debate from NBC News based on allegations that a previous event hosted by their sister CNBC network was, “petty and meanspirited” in its tone.
Fox News did not hold a formal debate during the 2016 Democratic primary.
Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism awareness.