Some members of Democratic Party suffer from “Fox derangement syndrome,” Fox News journalist Chris Wallace said Thursday when asked about the Democratic National Committee’s decision to bar the network from hosting its presidential primary debates.
DNC Chairman Thomas Perez made the announcement a day earlier, citing a one-sided New Yorker magazine article that claimed Fox News is aligned with the Trump administration.
"You know how we talk about 'Trump derangement syndrome,' or [similar obsession with] Obama? I think that, in the left wing of the Democratic Party, there is 'Fox derangement syndrome,'” Wallace told Brian Kilmeade on Fox News Radio.
"I think that the left wing of the Democratic Party there is Fox derangement syndrome."
“And even though they know that, Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier and I would give a fair debate, the idea of anything with Fox News presents the Democratic debate and they were just looking for an excuse and the New Yorker article gave it to them," Wallace added.
Wallace pointed out that Republicans did debates on all of the major networks during the 2016 election cycle and said it’s critical to reach different types of voters.
“There are going to be a lot of people that would watch a Fox debate,” he said, adding that he co-moderated the most-watched debate in cable news history.
But on Wednesday, DNC Chairman Tom Perez announced the party would not allow Fox News to host primary debates, claiming they would not be “fair and neutral” forums for the candidates.
“I believe that a key pathway to victory is to continue to expand our electorate and reach all voters,” Perez said in a statement to The Washington Post that cited a critical article in The New Yorker. “That is why I have made it a priority to talk to a broad array of potential media partners, including Fox News. Recent reporting in the New Yorker on the inappropriate relationship between President Trump, his administration and Fox News has led me to conclude that the network is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates. Therefore, Fox News will not serve as a media partner for the 2020 Democratic primary debates.”
While some Fox News Channel opinion hosts have come under fire for ties to the Trump administration, Wallace, Baier and MacCallum are anchors from the news division who have been praised for their handling of past debates. In 2016, Wallace moderated a presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and the network has urged the DNC to reassess the situation.
“We hope the DNC will reconsider its decision to bar Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, all of whom embody the ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism, from moderating a Democratic presidential debate. They’re the best debate team in the business and they offer candidates an important opportunity to make their case to the largest TV news audience in America, which includes many persuadable voters,” Fox News Senior Vice President Bill Sammon said in a statement.
Reacting to the DNC’s decision, Baier tweeted Wednesday, “That’s really a shame. When it comes to fairness - our news product speaks for itself. We will continue to cover this 2020 race fairly & will continue to invite Democrats- Republicans & Independents on to talk about key issues & substance with our very large viewing audience.”