Bernie Sanders wants to talk to Fox News viewers like you

Bernie Sanders said Thursday night on The Daily Show that he’s teeing up to do a town hall-style event hosted by Fox News.

Trevor Noah, the host, wasn’t sure he thought it was a good idea.

“Some would say, but Bernie, why would you go to Fox News? It’s not a legitimate news organization, at all. What are you doing there?” Noah asked Sanders.

“Trust me, I know Fox News,” Sanders replied. “I know who they are, and I know the role that they are playing. On the other hand, during the last campaign I did a town meeting with a fellow named Bret Baier, who did it pretty fair. He did it straightforwardly — believe me, we went over the ground rules before — and they kept their word.”

“So to me,” he continued, “it is important to distinguish Fox News from the many millions of people who watch Fox News. And I think it is important to talk to those people and say, ‘You know what? I know that many of you voted for Donald Trump, but he lied to you. He told you, for example, that he was gonna provide health care for all people, and now he wants to throw 30 million people off the health care that they had. He told you that he was going to give tax reform that would not benefit the wealthy. Eighty-three percent of the benefits to the top 1 percent.”

Sanders went on to say that he wants to tell people to what degree Trump has lied to people and “betrayed the working class of this country.”

But is that going to work?

“Smart of him to come onto Fox,” said Karl Rove on Friday, adding that his comment on Fox News versus Fox News viewers was “mystifying.”

But left-wing groups were rattling their cages in anger.

Carolyn Fiddler of the Daily Kos called Sanders’ decision to do a town hall with Fox News “unfortunate and dismaying” and said it will upset a lot of Daily Kos followers.

“I don’t know why he would lend his considerable presence to a network that routinely pushes sexist and racist tropes about progressives and his supporters,” she said.

Media Matters for America was also peeved.

“If you want to go on Fox, fine,” said Angelo Carusone, president of the organization in a tweet. “But wait until after the ad sales period is over. If you go on Fox between now and May, they will use your appearance to help neutralize all the advertiser blowback.”

Media Matters itself had a different message:

The town hall event will take place on April 15 in Bethlehem, Penn., and will focus on jobs and the economy. It will be hosted by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum.

This week, on Thursday evening, Fox News did a town hall event with former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who said that if Bernie Sanders gets the Democratic nomination in 2020, Donald Trump will be re-elected for sure.

The Democratic National Committee has refused to let Fox News host one of the Democratic primary debates, but the DNC announced, which likely committed fraud in working against Sanders in the 2016 election, handing the nomination to Hillary Clinton, said Friday it had no problem with it.

“While the DNC does not believe that FOX is equipped to be a partner for a 2020 debate because of concerns of fairness at the highest levels within their organization, the DNC believes that we must reach all voters, including their audience,” said spokesperson Xochitl Hinojosa.

“Therefore, candidates should do what they need to do in order to engage these voters directly.”

But Fox News itself got the last word, with senior vice president Bill Sammon releasing a statement saying: “We’re pleased that the DNC agrees with Fox News that successful Democratic presidential candidates must engage directly with FNC’s large and diverse audience through televised town halls. That logic extends to primary debates, so we continue to hope the DNC will reconsider its decision to bar top-notch journalists Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum from the debate stage.”

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