DNC Fox Debate Decision

Photo by  Charles Dharapak/AP

Photo by Charles Dharapak/AP


We ran the numbers: There are 86 news articles covering this topic. 48% (41) are left leaning, 21% (18) center, 14% (12) right leaning, and 17% (15) articles were from sources not analyzed by Nobias.

On Wednesday, Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez announced that it would not permit Fox News to host any of the 2020 presidential primary debates. Citing a recent story from the New Yorker, which alleged that there exist close ties between the White House and Fox News, Perez held that Fox News “is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates.” The DNC announcement has been met with significant pushback.

Many articles we identified as left-leaning worked to justify or explain the DNC’s decision. Vox ran an article titled “Why the DNC isn’t letting Fox News host a 2020 debate” and the NYmag ran the piece “Of Course Democrats Shouldn’t Let Fox News Host a Primary Debate.” The basic argument put forward in these pieces was that Fox News is too biased toward conservatives or toward the Trump Administration to be trusted to moderate a debate fairly.

Some media outlets that usually lean to the left actually ran stories criticizing the DNC’s decision — featuring headlines like “Democrats won’t debate on Fox News. They’d stand a better chance in 2020 if they did” (Washington Post) and “In defense of Fox News: What Democrats miss by shunning the right's favorite news channel” (Salon). It was a surprising move, but showed some balance in their coverage.

Both center and right-leaning pieces were more likely to lead with the news peg in headlines — like “DNC WON’T ALLOW FOX NEWS TO HOST ANY DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES” (Daily Caller) and “Democrats Won’t Partner With Fox News for Primary Debates” (WSJ). Then, in the content of the pieces, right-leaning articles spent more time focusing on the political backlash of the DNC’s decision.