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 KavanaughSusan Collins raises .1 million in third quarter Poll: 50 percent of Maine voters disapprove of Susan Collins's job performance Collins challenger raises .2 million in third quarter 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 TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE that were covered substantially by reporters on Fox News, including the Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenNY prosecutors urge appeals court not to block subpoena for Trump's tax returns Ronan Farrow book: National Enquirer shredded documents related to Trump Trump's tirades, taunts and threats are damaging our democracy MORE hearings last week, special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be 'more serious' than what Mueller 'dragged up' Lewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network 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 HarrisWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Warren leads in speaking time during debate MORE (D-Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Warren leads in speaking time during debate MORE (D-Minn.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandLobbying world 2020 Presidential Candidates Krystal Ball: Yang campaign a 'triumph of substance over the theatre' MORE (D-N.Y.), former Rep. John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field The Hill's 12:30 Report: Hunter Biden speaks out amid Ukraine controversy 2020 primary debate guide: Everything you need to know ahead of the October showdown MORE (D-Md.) and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Warren leads in speaking time during debate Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? MORE (D-Hawaii).

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