House leaders encourage Democrats to train for more air time on Fox News

The Democratic National Committee may be banning Fox News from hosting a presidential primary, but congressional Democrats are setting their sights on the network.

Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives are reportedly advocating for members to make appearances on Fox News and have even planned a training to help them prepare, CNN reported.

(File Photo: screenshot)

The Democratic Policy and Communications Committee will reportedly be holding the session, titled “Winning on Fox News: Best practices,” on Friday, according to an invitation sent to lawmakers and obtained by CNN. The training is set to show attendees “how to effectively engage anchors, answer tough questions, and develop your own formula for success.”

Communications strategists John Neffinger and Jess McIntosh, a CNN contributor, are scheduled to be featured speakers at the training which is part of a strategy to get Democrats before the wider Fox News audience.

“Members want to go on Fox, and we encourage them to do so. There are three big cable news networks, and one of the three happens to be Fox,” Michael LaRosa, DPCC communications director, said. “So, our view is, why alienate or ignore all of those viewers?”

“I’ve been doing Fox News since 2000, and I think it’s important that we participate with all the media,” Michigan Democrat Rep. Debbie Dingell, a co-chair of the DPCC, told CNN. “I believe that you talk to everybody. I believe you listen to everybody.”

According to CNN:

The training comes roughly a month after the center-left think tank Third Way hosted a dinner for Democratic members, encouraging them to go on Fox News. According to sources familiar with the dinner, about 15 Democrats attended the event, including a dozen freshmen.
Jim Kessler, executive vice president for policy at Third Way, said in an interview that more Democrats should go on Fox to not only share their views but to push back against what they see as conservative-dominated coverage.


“Not everybody who watches Fox News is a Steve Bannon disciple. There are people out there who are persuadable,” Kessler said. “There should be Democrats on there who can make our case and help sow doubt about the right-wing Republican argument.”

“The other advantage of it,” he added, “is that this is an opportunity to speak directly to President Trump, as well.”

Rep. Nanette Barragán agreed that it is a “great idea” for Democrats to appear on the network.

“It’s a network where there’s people in the middle and people who aren’t as far right as some of us think, and so I think there’s an audience there that wants to hear about what the Democrats are working on in Congress,” the California Democrat said. “I think they’re interested in knowing, and I think that we should make efforts to go on.”

Many liberals, however, support the banning of Fox News and were not on board with the DPCC direction of getting Democrats more exposure on the network.

But despite the decision on the 2020 debates, DNC chair Tom Perez makes regular appearances on Fox News as does DNC spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa. Many disagreed with the debate decision which they felt was limiting their outreach.

“We ignore Fox viewers at our peril as Democrats,” Rep. Scott Peters of California, said , pointing to the network’s “huge audience and a voting audience.”

“We should be in front of those people explaining our positions and why we think we have a better alternative than the Republicans,” he added. “And if we think that we have criticism against the President, I think we should be able to explain that.”

A Fox News town hall with Sen. Bernie Sanders last month pulled in strong ratings with nearly 2.6 million viewers. And even the regular lineup of programming on Fox News last month pulled in a million more viewers than the five-hour Democrat lineup on CNN’s presidential candidate town hall.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney also sees the opportunity to go on Fox News as a good way to stay connected to his constituents.

“We need to be better at talking to people who don’t already agree with us,” the New York Democrat said. “And if I can’t talk to people who watch Fox News, I’m going to have a problem.”

“It’s not the worst thing in the world that you have to defend your positions,” he added.


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