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 KavanaughRomney, Collins, Murkowski won't attend GOP convention Susan Collins signals she won't campaign against Biden Hillicon Valley: QAnon scores wins, creating GOP problem | Supreme Court upholds regulation banning robocalls to cellphones | Foreign hackers take aim at homebound Americans | Uber acquires Postmates 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 TrumpNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Trump on Confederate flag: 'It's freedom of speech' MORE that were covered substantially by reporters on Fox News, including the Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenBarr to testify in House oversight hearing next month Stone received 'favorable treatment' because of relationship with Trump, former prosecutor will testify Nadler to subpoena AG Barr over Berman firing MORE hearings last week, special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout 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 HarrisTammy Duckworth hits back at Tucker Carlson: 'Walk a mile in my legs' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump wants schools to reopen, challenged on 'harmless' COVID-19 remark Judd Gregg: The coming Biden coup MORE (D-Calif.), Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharThe Hill's Coronavirus Report: DC's Bowser says protesters and nation were 'assaulted' in front of Lafayette Square last month; Brazil's Bolsonaro, noted virus skeptic, tests positive for COVID-19 Hillicon Valley: QAnon scores wins, creating GOP problem | Supreme Court upholds regulation banning robocalls to cellphones | Foreign hackers take aim at homebound Americans | Uber acquires Postmates Senate Democrats urge Pompeo to ensure Americans living overseas can vote in November MORE (D-Minn.) and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocratic lawmakers call for expanding, enshrining LGBTQ rights The Hill's 12:30 Report: Fauci 'aspirationally hopeful' of a vaccine by winter The Hill's Morning Report - Officials crack down as COVID-19 cases soar MORE (D-N.Y.), former Rep. John DelaneyJohn DelaneyCoronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO; CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says country needs to rethink what 'policing' means; US cases surpass 2 million with no end to pandemic in sight MORE (D-Md.) and Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardFinancial firms facing serious hacking threat in COVID-19 era Gabbard drops defamation lawsuit against Clinton It's as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE (D-Hawaii).

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