Even after the Democratic National Committee (DNC) barred Fox News from hosting a Democratic primary debate, the network is dominating ratings, as its town hall with 2020 Democratic presidential contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) crushed other networks’ town halls.
DNC Chairman Tom Perez announced in early March that the organization was blocking Fox News from hosting any primary debates during the 2020 presidential cycle.
“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,” Perez previously said.
“That’s really a shame,” Fox News’ Bret Baier responded at the time, along with several others criticizing the DNC’s decision. “When it comes to fairness — our news product speaks for itself.”
However, the DNC’s decision doesn’t seem to be holding in its favor, as Monday night’s Fox News town hall with Sanders became the most-watched town hall of the season, according to early Nielsen Media Research reports that Fox News provided to IJR.
Its high ratings destroyed other channels’ ratings when it came to a town hall with Sanders, including passing the total number viewers of CNN’s prime-time town hall with Sanders held on February 25.
While Fox News garnered roughly 2.55 million viewers hosting Sanders on Monday, CNN programming garnered 913,000 viewers, and MSNBC had approximately 1.44 million viewers.
Sanders’ town hall on Monday covered a wide range of topics, from tax breaks and his millionaire status, to his “Medicare for All” proposal, to his defense of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) controversial remarks.
Watch the video below:
As IJR Red reported, Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer asked Perez on Monday if he’d reconsider allowing Fox News to host a Democratic primary debate in the 2020 cycle.
“Here is why we won’t do that,” Perez doubled down. “I don’t have faith in your leadership at Fox News at the senior levels.”
Perez noted that he respects some of the leading Fox News anchors before continuing.
“But you’ve demonstrated that above your pay grade, they don’t trust your own listeners, and so they feel like they have to put their thumb on the scale,” he said.
The DNC chair then criticized the channel’s leaders who “pierced that line between editorial and your Sean Hannity shows.”
“You know there is a line between what we do at 9:00 and what happens in the prime time. It’s like reading a newspaper, Tom,” Hemmer later pushed back. “And it has been the same way for a long time. I really hope you come back. I really hope you reconsider.”