HBO host Bill Maher gave Democratic Party officials a scolding Friday night for refusing to allow Fox News to host one of the party’s 12 scheduled debates as part of the 2020 primary election process.
Earlier this month, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said Fox would not be allowed to host a debate, citing a New Yorker article that outlined connections between President Donald Trump and Fox News that date to the Roger Ailes era at Fox and continue with Trump’s close relationship with Fox host Sean Hannity. Democrats have been chided for the decision.
Maher joined the chorus of critics Friday, challenging Democrats to “grow a pair.”
“Last week, the Democrats made a terrible decision when they announced that they had turned down Fox News’ offer to host one of their 2020 primary debates, saying Fox was nothing more than propaganda,” he said. “OK so why not go on Fox News and tell them that?
“You want to be in the big leagues, but you refuse to ever play an away game? You don’t like the questions that Fox News might ask, so you’re deciding to not take any questions at all?”
TRENDING: Breaking: Senate Rejects Trump’s Emergency Declaration as 12 Republicans Break Ranks
Reflecting his contention that Trump grants media access based upon how well he likes a media source’s coverage, Maher said, “How very Trump of you.”
Maher said that Democrats should not be hiding from potentially facing tough questions.
“This is a fundamental problem with the Democratic Party. They look weak, running from a fight when they should be in there throwing punches,” he said.
Should Fox News host a Democratic presidential debate?
Maher contrasted the Democrat’s flight from Fox with what he sees from Republicans.
“Republicans never shy away from coming on this show, and they come with a smile on their face despite knowing that the only people in the crowd cheering them on are the three campaign aides they brought with them. … The audience is against them and they don’t care because it’s an opportunity to expose people to your side of the story,” he said.
“So what if there are groans? Groans won’t kill you,” Maher said.
“I used to think the reason I never saw prominent Democrats on Fox News was they weren’t invited. … But no, they’re invited,” he said. “They just don’t go.”
Noting that Fox has a vast reach among America’s voters, Maher said Democrats need to do more than talk among themselves.
“You have to get inside the bubble. You call yourself the resistance, then fight behind enemy lines. … Get out of your echo chamber, and infiltrate theirs,” he said.
Democratic Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut recently said he also thought the DNC made an error in banning Fox.
“Well, with all due respect to the (Democratic National Committee), no, I don’t think it was the right decision,” he said, according to CNN.
Himes said that although he believes Fox News has a political agenda, “a debate is a very highly structured moment.”
“It is, in some senses, fair. It’s not like, you know, Sean Hannity can jump in and challenge Bernie Sanders,” he said.
Himes said a Fox debate would have reached voters Democrats need to reach.
“As they say, ‘You don’t need to persuade your friends, you need to persuade people who disagree with you.’ So I would’ve made a different decision,” Himes said.
During the 2016 primary season, Fox did host one Democratic presidential debate.
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.This article was originally posted here.