Bret Baier Blames ‘Fox Derangement Syndrome’ for DNC’s Ban of Fox News From Debates
Fox News anchor Bret Baier says he is “disappointed” that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has decided not to allow Fox News to host any primary debates, and blames “Fox Derangement Syndrome” for the decision.
On Sunday morning’s edition of Fox News’ MediaBuzz, host Howard Kurtz interviewed Baier over the ban, which DNC Chairman Tom Perez attributed to a New Yorker story that he says demonstrates that “at the highest levels of Fox News, they’re not playing it straight.”
Baier repeatedly called the decision “disappointing,” and told Kurtz that when he moderated a town hall for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in 2016, “Both sides said they thought it was fair.”
He also pointed to praise for Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace, who often delivers tough questions to Trump officials and Democrats alike.
Kurtz made the often-cited distinction between Fox News’ “opinion” programming and their news division, and Baier said that “the loudest critics of Fox are often people who don’t watch,” and that those who do “think it’s fair.”
“There is a bit of Fox derangement syndrome with a section of the left,” Baier said. “There are a lot of candidates and a lot of people in the Democratic Party who realize the power of the viewership and the power of the fairness of the news operation. But often they are drowned out by the loud voices on the left side of the party.”
Fox News frequently uses this wall between “opinion” and “hard news” as a defense against accusations of bias and outright propaganda, but the news division has frequently demonstrated an inability to “play it straight,” as Perez characterized it.
Fox’s “hard news” personnel also push false or misleading news stories, including Baier, who was forced to retract a report on Hillary Clinton in the waning days of the 2016 campaign. But Baier has also reported falsehoods on air without correction. And last April, Politico reported that Baier was among Trump’s “mystery golf partners” one weekend in Virginia.
Perez stated that his concern about the debates is not about the anchors themselves, but about the news culture at the “highest levels” of the network. The New Yorker story makes frequent mention of former Fox co-president Bill Shine, as well as Roger Ailes, each of whom spent years shaping and influencing the news division, and that influence could affect every aspect of production on a debate.
Watch the clip above, via Fox News.
[Featured image via screengrab]
This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.