At the end of a fairly mundane Fox News interview on Monday morning, Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez tore into the network’s leadership and editorial policies after Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer asked him if the DNC would reconsider banning the network from hosting a 2020 Democratic presidential primary debate.
With Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders scheduled to appear Monday on Fox for a town-hall event, Hemmer took the opportunity to appeal directly to Perez. Earlier this year, Perez announced the DNC would not allow Fox News to host a debate, citing a New Yorker expose revealing the tight relationship between the network and the Trump administration.
“Will you reconsider your decision of having debates on the Fox News channel?” Hemmer asked.
“Here is why we won’t do that,” Perez replied. “I don’t have faith in your leadership at Fox News at the senior levels.”
“I have great respect for Bret [Baier] and for Chris [Wallace] and for you,” the DNC chair noted, “but you’ve demonstrated that, above your pay grade, they don’t trust your own listeners and so they feel like they have to put the thumb on the scale.”
Perez went on to clarify to Hemmer that he was specifically pointing to Fox News brass, adding that they’ve “pierced that line between editorial and your Sean Hannity shows.” That last point prompted Hemmer to defend the network’s so-called “hard news” shows.
“You know there is a line between what we do at 9:00 and what happens in the prime time,” Hemmer declared before parroting a line often heard on Hannity’s program: “It's like reading a newspaper, Tom. And it has been the same way for a long time. I really hope you come back. I really hope you reconsider.”
“I hope you have a good conversation with the people at the top to say, ‘Don’t do that,’” Perez shot back.