It seems as though Democrats are big on cutting off their nose to spite their face these days. Two Democratic governors — California’s Gavin Newsom and New Mexico’s Michelle Lujan Grisham — have acted in ways intended to spite Donald Trump’s immigration crackdown that, in Grisham’s case at least, has backfired. It’s still too early to tell whether Newsom’s decision to pardon seven felons slated for deportation will come back to bite him.
Yesterday, presidential hopeful Kamala Harris joined that fraternity by declining to appear on a town hall sponsored by Fox News, according to left-wing journalist Yashar Ali, who quotes a spokesperson for the Harris campaign as saying, “They’ve reached out but we haven’t entertained it.”
At least Harris was gracious in her rejection, unlike Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who used the occasion to denigrate Fox as a “hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists.”
The problems with turning down an invitation to appear on Fox News are twofold. First, and despite Warren’s low opinion of the network, Fox News is always a ratings leader among cable news networks. When Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared on Fox for a town hall moderated by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, an estimated 2.5 million viewers tuned in to hear the senator’s platform.
Second, the town halls are open events that often draw more Democrats than Republicans, who turn out to see their candidate in the flesh. So far, in addition to Sanders, Sen. Amy Klobuchar has appeared, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand are scheduled to appear in upcoming days.
Snubbing Fox is essentially turning down a bully pulpit.