Fox's Kurtz defends network's news division after DNC debate rejection

Fox's Kurtz defends network's news division after DNC debate rejection
© Twitter

Fox News host Howard Kurtz defended the network on Thursday after the Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced the previous day it would not grant Fox any of its 2020 presidential primary debates.

"I do just want to make this point on the news today, and that is the prime-time opinion people and [morning show] 'Fox & Friends,' they get a lot of the attention. I understand that," Kurtz, who hosts "Media Buzz," told "America's Newsroom" anchors Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith.

"But there are an awful lot of people at this company," the media critic continued. "Bret [Baier] and Martha; remember Martha MacCallum grilling Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughCollins downplays 2020 threat: 'Confident' re-election would go well if she runs The exhaustion of Democrats' anti-Trump delusions Lewandowski on potential NH Senate run: If I run, 'I'm going to win' MORE when he gave the only interview as the Supreme Court nominee? And John Roberts and Gillian Turner and Mike Emanuel and Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith and others who are journalists who try to play things right down the middle."

ADVERTISEMENT

"It would be like writing a whole piece saying The New York Times is an anti-Trump newspaper and mostly quoting from the editorial page," Kurtz added.

The former longtime CNN "Reliable Sources" host also offered examples of stories considered negative to President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE that were covered substantially by reporters on Fox News, including the Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenCapitol Police advised Gaetz against holding open events I'm not a Nazi, I'm just a dude: What it's like to be the other Steve King Wyden blasts FEC Republicans for blocking probe into NRA over possible Russia donations MORE hearings last week, special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerMueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony MORE's Russia probe and the alleged Trump hush money investigation around Stormy Daniels.

"Opinion people are something else," Kurtz added. "That is the distinction that I want to make, and that [The New Yorker] article should have made.”

Kurtz joined other Fox personalities weighing in on the announcement this week. Host Brett Baier called the DNC's decision "really a shame" in a tweet Wednesday, saying Fox News's fairness "speaks for itself."

The DNC announced Wednesday afternoon that Fox News would not be permitted to host any of its 12 scheduled primary debates after The New Yorker on Tuesday reported on the network's close ties to Trump.

“Recent reporting in the New Yorker on the inappropriate relationship between President Trump, his administration and Fox News has led me to conclude that the network is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates. Therefore, Fox News will not serve as a media partner for the 2020 Democratic primary debates,” DNC Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s 'wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE said in the statement.

Fox News Senior Vice President and Managing Editor Bill Sammon responded Wednesday afternoon, touting Fox News's news division while noting having Democratic candidates appear on the network would help candidates reach key voters during the 2020 election cycle.

“They’re the best debate team in the business and they offer candidates an important opportunity to make their case to the largest TV news audience in America, which includes many persuadable voters,” Sammon said in statement.

Several declared and presumptive Democratic presidential candidates have recently appeared on Fox News, including Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Top adviser on Sanders: 'He's always been underestimated' 'The Simpsons' pokes fun at Trump's feud with 'the squad' MORE (D-Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill The Hill's Morning Report - Trump hews to NRA on guns and eyes lower taxes Harris to appear in CNN climate town hall after backlash MORE (D-Minn.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandSenate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Sanders unveils plan to double union membership in first term The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden expands lead in new national poll MORE (D-N.Y.), former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyDelaney shakes up top campaign staff Poll: Nearly 4 in 5 say they will consider candidates' stances on cybersecurity Native American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment MORE (D-Md.) and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardLawmakers urge DNC to name Asian American debate moderator The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden expands lead in new national poll Castro qualifies for next Democratic primary debates MORE (D-Hawaii).

Perez also appeared as DNC chairman on Baier's "Special Report" last month.