White House hopeful and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Saturday blasted Fox News Channel personalities in a statement to supporters defending his decision to appear on the cable news network for a town hall.
“I strongly condemn the voices on Fox and the media that uncritically amplify hate and the divisive sort of politics that gave rise to the presidency. Their goal is spread fear and lies, not serve as honest brokers with the American people,” Buttigieg said in a statement shared to social media without naming any employees of the network.
Buttigieg then spoke about the strategic nature of appearing on the Fox News Channel, warning that ignoring the network would amount to a lost opportunity to reach millions of conservatives.
“If we ignore the viewers of Fox News and every news platform that doesn’t share our worldview, we will surrender our ability to speak directly to millions of American voters,” he went on. “If we don’t show up, the conservative media will tell our side of the story for us.”
Buttigieg will participate in the town hall on May 19th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST in Claremont, New Hampshire.
The mayor’s statement comes after fellow White House contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) declared that she turned down an invitation to appear on the Fox News Channel for a town hall, accusing it of operating as “a hate for-profit ratchet.”
“A Fox News town hall adds money to the hate-for-profit machine. To which I say: hard pass,” Warren tweeted of her decision. “Fox News is welcome to come to my events just like any other outlet.”
“I won’t ask millions of Democratic primary voters to tune into an outlet that profits from racism and hate in order to see our candidates — especially when Fox will make even more money adding our valuable audience to their ratings numbers,” she continued. “Hate-for-profit works only if there’s profit, so Fox News balances a mix of bigotry, racism, and outright lies with enough legit journalism to make the claim to advertisers that it’s a reputable news outlet. It’s all about dragging in ad money — big ad money.”
Several Democrat presidential candidates, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), have argued that appearing on the Fox News Channel is important to reach people who voted for President Donald Trump in 2016.
“To me, it is important to distinguish ‘Fox News’ from the many millions of people who watch Fox News,” Sanders said recently. “I think it is important to talk to Trump supporters and explain to them to what degree he has betrayed the working class of this country and lied during his campaign.”