Updated May 14, 2019 - Economy

Warren turns down Fox News town hall, blasting network as "a hate-for-profit racket"

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren at a rally in Philadelphia. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

2020 Democratic candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren said in Twitter thread Tuesday she's taking a "hard pass" on an invitation to appear at a Fox News town hall, calling the network "a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists."

The big picture: Warren's refusal to appear on the conservative-leaning network strikes a different tone than 7 of her 2020 Democratic peers, who have either agreed or are currently in talks to do a Fox town hall. Several candidates have defended going on Fox News as an opportunity to reach Trump supporters, but Warren said she won't let her name be used to help Fox News bring in advertising dollars.

“I love town halls. I’ve done more than 70 since January, and I’m glad to have a television audience be a part of them. Fox News has invited me to do a town hall, but I’m turning them down—here’s why. Fox News is a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists—it’s designed to turn us against each other, risking life & death consequences, to provide cover for the corruption that’s rotting our government and hollowing out our middle class.
"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. It’s all about dragging in ad money—big ad money.
"But Fox News is struggling as more and 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—no harm to their brand or reputation (spoiler: It’s not).
"Here’s one place we can fight back: I won’t ask millions of Democratic primary voters to tune into an outlet that profits from racism and hate in order to see our candidates—especially when Fox will make even more money adding our valuable audience to their ratings numbers.
"I’m running a campaign to reach all Americans. I take questions from the press and voters everywhere I go. I’ve already held town halls in 17 states and Puerto Rico—including WV, OH, GA, UT, TN, TX, CO, MS & AL.
"I’ve done 57 media avails and 131 interviews, taking over 1,100 questions from press just since January. Fox News is welcome to come to my events just like any other outlet. But a Fox News town hall adds money to the hate-for-profit machine. To which I say: hard pass."

Correction: An earlier version of this story used an incorrect statement from Fox News. Fox has not yet responded to Warren.

Go deeper