the lion's den
May 7, 2019

Even as the Democratic National Committee gives Fox News the cold shoulder, some Democrats are increasingly embracing the network.

Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives are encouraging members to go on Fox to make their case to a wider audience, CNN reports. In fact, the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, the messaging arm for House Democrats, will hold a training session this week to help Democrats prepare for appearances on the network. The invitation promises it will cover how to "effectively engage anchors" and "answer tough questions."

The DNC in March announced that it would not air any 2020 debates with Fox News, with DNC Chair Tom Perez citing the network's "inappropriate relationship" with President Trump, saying this would not allow for a "fair and neutral debate."

Perez, however, has said he's fine with Democrats making appearances on Fox outside of these debates, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) held a town hall with the network in April. It was such a hit, becoming the most-watched town hall of the 2020 cycle so far, that other 2020 Democrats have their own town halls with the network on the way, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

These Democrats are looking to reach a very different audience than they would on other cable networks, as evidenced by a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll showing that 61 percent of Fox News viewers believe Trump has been honest about the Russia probe, compared to 24 percent for CNN. But some Democrats see Fox as an opportunity to reach right-leaning viewers with ideas they could still support. During Sanders' town hall, for instance, the crowd erupted in cheers for his Medicare-for-All proposal.

The communications director for the DPCC told CNN that Democrats shouldn't "alienate or ignore" Fox News viewers, while Jim Kessler, the executive vice president for the think tank Third Way, said it's also an "opportunity to speak directly to President Trump." Brendan Morrow

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