By Matt Stevens and Michael M. Grynbaum
New York Times News Service
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said Tuesday that she would not participate in a Fox News town hall as some other Democratic candidates have, calling the media outlet “a hate-for-profit racket” that seeks to turn Americans against each other.
In a series of messages posted on Twitter, Warren, who is one of 22 people seeking the Democratic nomination for president, accused the network of giving “a megaphone to racists and conspiracists” and providing cover for corruption.
She also returned to one of her campaign’s central themes in her attack on Fox News, framing the network as the sort of corporate “profit machine” she has railed against.
“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,’’ she said. “It’s all about dragging in ad money — big ad money.
“But Fox News is struggling as more & more advertisers pull out of their hate-filled space. A Democratic town hall gives the Fox News sales team a way to tell potential sponsors it’s safe to buy ads on Fox,” she continued. “I won’t ask millions of Democratic primary voters to tune into an outlet that profits from racism and hate.”
The network did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Warren’s stance diverges from that of some of her Democratic rivals who have appeared at town hall-style events on the cable network, saying it’s important to reach out to voters of all persuasions.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont took part in a town hall on the network in April, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota did the same last week. Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is expected to participate in one Sunday.
Whether to appear on Fox News has underscored a deeper tactical divide among the 2020 Democratic candidates: double down on attracting the left-leaning coalitions that comprise much of the party’s primary electorate, or attempt to make inroads with millions who supported President Donald Trump in 2016 — and receive a high percentage of their information from Fox News.