Ever eager to appeal to her party's left-wing base and separate herself from other hardcore progressives in the presidential race, Elizabeth Warren pointedly announced this week that she'll refuse to appear in a Fox News-hosted town hall-style meeting, as other 2020 Democratic hopefuls -- including Bernie Sanders -- have done. Why? Because Fox is supposedly a hate-for-profit propaganda factory, or something. Rage against the machine, Liz. Channel that anger and collect those small donors:
Fox News is a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists—it’s designed to turn us against each other, risking life and death consequences, to provide cover for the corruption that’s rotting our government and hollowing out our middle class.— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) May 14, 2019
I won’t do a town hall with Fox News because I won’t invite millions of Democratic primary voters to tune in, inflate ratings, and help sell ads for an outlet that profits from racism and hate. If you agree, sign our petition. https://t.co/zAyBN7i8Jf— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) May 14, 2019
First of all, the notion that Warren is some sort of uniter who abhors turning people against each other is just laughable. She's unapologetically and stridently divisive. Secondly, whatever one might think of the prime time opinion hosts she targets in her petition video, they wouldn't be the journalists asking questions of Warren, and she knows it. The anchors of these types of events have been from the news side of the network (as a requisite disclosure, I work for Fox News): Bret Baier, Martha MacCallum, and Chris Wallace. Warren is posturing and signaling to a constituency that loathes the Right, and sees Fox News as the Trump Network. "Standing up to" Fox is therefore a tribalistic performance, the benefits of which she believes outweigh the utility of making a case for herself on the most-watched cable channel in America. She's garnering applause from the usual suspects, but over on The View, the ladies -- who lean to the Left -- aren't especially impressed:
They don't agree often. All @TheView hosts ripped @ewarren for refusing to go on Fox News.— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) May 15, 2019
"If you can't face the Fox audience, you can't face the U.S.," Whoopi Goldberg said. "It's that simple." pic.twitter.com/7Gexmb26hO
It's essentially 'deplorables' 2.0, and one co-host rightly called Warren's attacks "very dismissive" of millions of voters. That's obviously true, but it's also by design. It's not like leftist warrior Elizabeth Warren plans on winning a persuasion election. She's appealing to a certain segment of voters during the primary (she's been climbing, but still trails heavily), then would count on Trump's unpopularity to sweep her into the White House. She's not interested in building bridges and convincing people she's right. She's interested in confiscating much more of their money for governmental purposes.
But there's another angle to Warren's little tantrum about Fox: Have we not been told for the last few years that vitriolic attacks on the free press represent a threat to our institutions -- and to our very republic? Where is the Journalism Protection squad? And aren't hyperbolic barbs directed at high-profile individuals tantamount to "incitement"? Based on the Left's stupid, shifting, unevenly-applied End of Discussion standard, Warren is putting people in physical danger, and must be strongly condemned for her inhumane recklessness. Don't hold your breath. Cortney has noted that fellow Democrat John Delaney offered to take her slot. I'll leave you with Kirsten Gillibrand, who's also several rungs below Warren, making a similar point:
.@SenGillibrand on why she'll do a @foxnews town hall after @ewarren called it a "hate-for-profit" network and refused to appear.— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) May 15, 2019
"I believe you need to meet voters where they are, and a lot of America happens to watch that network." pic.twitter.com/T8bbuHx3HG
By the way, will Kamala Harris agree to do a Fox town hall? Or is she afraid Bret, Martha or Chris might actually press her to have a few of the many "conversations" she keeps talking about wanting to have?