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

Fox's Kurtz defends network's news division after DNC debate rejection
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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 KavanaughCourt-packing becomes new litmus test on left Warren, Harris, Gillibrand back efforts to add justices to Supreme Court Pence traveling to SC for Graham reelection launch 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."

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"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 TrumpTrump mocks wind power: 'When the wind doesn't blow, just turn off the television' Pentagon investigator probing whether acting chief boosted former employer Boeing Trump blasts McCain, bemoans not getting 'thank you' for funeral MORE that were covered substantially by reporters on Fox News, including the Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenTrump: George Conway 'a whack job' Hill-HarrisX poll: 76 percent oppose Trump pardoning former campaign aides The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump steps up attacks on McCain MORE hearings last week, special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe 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 HarrisJ.J. Abrams, Shonda Rhimes to host Kamala Harris fundraiser Warren, Klobuchar call on FTC to curtail use of non-compete clauses Pollster says 'it's certainly not looking good' for Trump ahead of 2020 MORE (D-Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharWarren, Klobuchar call on FTC to curtail use of non-compete clauses Republican strategist predicts his 2020 Dem primary final four Chicago mayor race mirrors national push for more women in office, says columnist MORE (D-Minn.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandGillibrand shows off 'just trying to get some ranch' t-shirt Rubio to introduce legislation to keep Supreme Court at 9 seats The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Dems put manufacturing sector in 2020 spotlight MORE (D-N.Y.), former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneySolving climate change the American way CNN to host town hall with Cory Booker in South Carolina Howard Schultz to be featured in Fox News town hall MORE (D-Md.) and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardChicago mayor race mirrors national push for more women in office, says columnist Biden leads CNN poll, but Harris, Sanders on the rise CNN to host town hall with Cory Booker in South Carolina MORE (D-Hawaii).

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