There has been some controversy over the issue of whether Democratic candidates should appear on Fox News programs and on the ‘town halls’ that they sponsor, where their hosts interview candidates before an audience. Some have chosen to do so while others have declined. Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, and Pete Buttigieg have chosen to appear but Elizabeth Warren was particularly stinging in her rejection of their invitation, calling Fox a ‘hate for profit racket’. The Democratic party has said that they will not allow Fox to sponsor any of the debates of their candidates.
Let me stipulate from the outset that Fox News is a Republican and Trump propaganda outlet that does profit off spreading hate and division. But I still think that there should not be a blanket condemnation of people who appear on it. I fail to see why any candidate for office should not take advantage of a platform that reaches a large audience. A problem arises when a candidate (or anyone else) modifies their views purely to appeal to what they think that audience wants to hear and in the hope of being invited on the network. That would be problematic. But if they are saying what they would say anywhere else, I do not see why they should completely write off the chance that some members of that audience may be receptive to their message
There is of course the inevitable slippery slope argument. Should one be willing to speak to any group at all, regardless of what that group stands for?. What about an invitation from some openly racist, misogynistic, or xenophobic group? What about the KKK? At what point does appearing with a group become more a way for a dubious group to legitimize themselves rather than a means of spreading one’s message?
Like all slippery slope arguments, it is a matter of judgment and drawing a hard and fast line is difficult. But my opinion is that appearing on Fox News is not a bridge too far.
This tweet captures some of this sentiment
I think that what Bernie gets — and Nate doesn't — is that 33% of Fox news viewers identify as Independent or Dem, and that regardless, the president is responsible for the lives and wellbeing of all Americans, and should be able to effectively communicate with them. https://t.co/eu2OhechaW
— Briahna Joy Gray (@briebriejoy) May 14, 2019