Fox News anchor Bret Baier on Sunday condemned Democrats who exhibit “Fox derangement syndrome” after the Democratic National Committee announced it wouldn’t allow the news network to host presidential primary debates.
“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,” he continued. “But often they are drowned out by the loud voices on the left side of the party.”
Baier’s comments came just days after DNC chairman Tom Perez said the organization wouldn’t allow the conservative news network to host presidential primary debates. Perez said the decision was made after a report in The New Yorker alleged an “inappropriate relationship between President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders pledges to support Democratic nominee in 2020 CNN’s Zucker: Fox News is a ‘propaganda outlet’ Warren struggles to gain traction amid Sanders surge MORE, his administration and FOX News.”
The report detailed several allegations pertaining to the Trump administration’s apparently warm relationship with the network.
Among other things, the magazine reported that Fox News killed a story prior to the 2016 presidential election about Trump having an affair with adult-film star Stormy Daniels. The magazine also reported that many Fox News hosts have been increasingly vocal about their support of the president’s policies.
But Baier said he was “disappointed” by the DNC’s decision because it didn’t account for Fox News’s full-fledged news division.
“Obviously we have a long track record of being tough but fair to Republicans, Democrats, independents, whomever,” Baier said, pointing to a town hall the network held in 2016 featuring Democratic presidential candidates Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders pledges to support Democratic nominee in 2020 Biden holds slim lead over Sanders in Iowa: poll Blame Congress for Washington’s regulatory mess MORE and Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSanders pledges to support Democratic nominee in 2020 Biden holds slim lead over Sanders in Iowa: poll Sunday shows preview: 2020 field begins to take shape MORE.
Asked by Fox News’s Howard Kurtz if he felt the network’s news division was overlooked, Baier said “yes.”
“This has been happening since I’ve been here. 22 years. Defending Fox, it’s two sides. There’s the news side and the opinion side,” he said. “And the loudest critics of Fox are often the people who don’t watch. And I say watch my show.”
Fox News senior vice president and Managing Editor Bill Sammon called on the DNC to reconsider its decision, saying the network’s news reporters “embody the ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism.”
But media figures outside the network have defended the DNC’s decision. CNN president Jeff Zucker said Saturday that the “consternation about this is a little misplaced,” before accusing Fox News of being a “propaganda outlet.”
He also criticized the defense of the network’s news division.
“They chose to work at Fox and they don’t get to hide behind the fact that they’re excellent journalists or anchors. The fact is they work at a place that has done tremendous damage to this country,” Zucker said.