Lessons Learned from the Bernie Sanders Fox News Town Hall


This post is by Tommy Christopher from Mediaite


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Independent Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders bucked many of the network’s critics by appearing at an hourlong town hall moderated by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum Monday, and the result was clarifying on a number of fronts. Here are the lessons Democrats should learn from the Sanders town hall. Sanders is getting generally high marks for his performance, and I would agree with analysts who say that overall, the net effect was positive for Bernie, politically. Particularly on the issue of health care, Sanders was effective at countering right-wing (Fox News) talking points. Democrats can learn a lot from his successes, as well as his missteps. But there are also lessons to be learned about the Fox News moderators, and how their performance relates to the separate questions of whether Democrats should appear on the network, and whether the Democratic National Committee should reconsider allowing the Continue reading "Lessons Learned from the Bernie Sanders Fox News Town Hall"

Trump Mocked For Referring to Fox News as ‘We’


This post is by Colby Hall from Mediaite


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President Donald Trump is catching some stick on Twitter after he used an odd turn of phrase, describing Fox News as “we.” The “offending” tweet was a dig at the network’s decision to air a town hall with progressive Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, which he found to be remarkably chummy. Trump tweeted: Trump’s apparent passive aggressive criticism echoes similar comments made by Sean Hannity during his show that followed the Sanders’ town hall. Hannity dismissed the event, insisting that the town hall was full of “communist” ideas spouted by “crazy Bernie.” But it was the literary use of the “royal we” that caught the attention of Twitter users whose comments assembled below
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Fox News Anchor Bret Baier Responds to Trump’s Attack on Bernie Sanders Town Hall


This post is by Ken Meyer from Mediaite


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Fox News anchor Bret Baier shrugged off President Donald Trump‘s attack on the town hall event he held with Bernie Sanders on Monday night. On Tuesday, Trump blasted his favorite network for giving an hourlong town hall to the Vermont senator and 2020 presidential candidate. He accused Baier of being “smiley and nice” during the event, which was co-hosted with fellow anchor Martha MacCallum. This barb is just the latest shot Trump has taken at the news division of Fox News. Enter Baier, who seemed to be unfazed by Trump’s attack:  “Thanks for watching Mr. President – we’d love to have you on a town hall soon.” “We cover all sides,” Baier added.

Bret Baier Asks Bernie Sanders to Cut Criticism of Fox News at Town Hall: Can We ‘Get Over the Fox Thing?’


This post is by Aidan McLaughlin from Mediaite


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Minutes into Sen. Bernie Sanders‘s town hall on Fox News, anchor Bret Baier asked the 2020 presidential candidate to cut out his criticism of the network. Sanders himself has taken heat for appearing on Fox News, a move he defended as necessary to getting his message out to the broader electorate. But the Vermont senator made his qualms with Fox News clear at the town hall, leading to contentious exchanges in the opening minutes between him and his moderators, Baier and Martha MacCallum. Early on, Sanders said that Fox News “doesn’t have a great deal of respect in my world.” A few minutes later, he criticized Fox News and the media overall for its fixation on personality over policy in presidential candidates. When Sanders was finished answering, Baier paused questioning to ask Sanders to “get over” his disagreements with Fox News for the sake of the town hall. Continue reading "Bret Baier Asks Bernie Sanders to Cut Criticism of Fox News at Town Hall: Can We ‘Get Over the Fox Thing?’"

Bernie Sanders Defends Appearance at Fox News Town Hall: Network Doesn’t Have ‘Great Deal of Respect’ in My World


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Senator Bernie Sanders‘ Fox News town hall started off a little combative, and the senator knocked the network a few times as he laid out his policy proposals. At one point, one woman in the audience brought up socialism and asked Sanders, “How can you challenge the idea that socialism is bad in the minds of the public?” Sanders pointed to Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, remarking, “Ask them, not me.” Baier wryly asked if this is “going to be a constant thing.” Sanders said it wouldn’t, telling Baier, “You ask me fair questions, I will give you fair answers.” He also made a point of addressing why he’s going on Fox News despite the DNC’s decision to not do any debates with them and other candidates not going on the network:
“Not everyone thought that I should come on the show… Your network Continue reading "Bernie Sanders Defends Appearance at Fox News Town Hall: Network Doesn’t Have ‘Great Deal of Respect’ in My World"

McConnell on GOP/Trump Health Care Push: Won’t Spend Time on Things That Have ‘No Chance of Becoming Law’


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Fox News’ Bret Baier asked Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell about the Republicans’ plan for health care after getting Obamacare repealed. After asking McConnell for his response to Bernie Sanders‘ Medicare for All proposal, Baier asked, “Where is the GGP plan on health care?” McConnell said he favors working on “niche fixes” to improve the current system, before saying next year there’s going to be a debate in America “about whether we want to turn America into a socialist country.” “You backed off last week taking another run at trying to repeal and replace Obamacare,” Baier asked. “Did the president get too far over his skis there?” “Look, we made that effort last Congress, it didn’t work,” McConnell responded. “Clearly the Democratic House is not going to pass it. So we’re not going to spend time in the Senate on things that have literally no chance Continue reading "McConnell on GOP/Trump Health Care Push: Won’t Spend Time on Things That Have ‘No Chance of Becoming Law’"

Despite DNC Debate Ban, Bernie Sanders Will Appear at Fox News Town Hall on Tax Day


This post is by Tommy Christopher from Mediaite


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Independent Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has agreed to appear at a Fox News town hall this month, despite the fact that the Democratic National Committee has blacklisted the network from hosting primary debates. According to a press release from the network, Sanders will participate in a 1-hour town hall meeting on April 15th, which also happens to be the deadline for filing federal tax returns:
FOX News Channel (FNC) will present a town hall with 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Monday, April 15th from 6:30PM/ET-7:30PM/ET in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Co-anchored by Special Report’s Bret Baier and The Story’s Martha MacCallum, the town hall will focus on the economy and jobs. In March of 2016, Sanders notably participated in FNC’s only Democratic town hall during the 2016 presidential election cycle alongside former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. According to Nielsen Media Research, that Continue reading "Despite DNC Debate Ban, Bernie Sanders Will Appear at Fox News Town Hall on Tax Day"

Bret Baier Praises Jeanine Pirro’s Ratings Weeks After Producer on His Show Called Out Host’s Islamophobia


This post is by Caleb Ecarma from Mediaite


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Fox News anchor Bret Baier congratulated his colleague Jeanine Pirro for her weekend show’s ratings on Twitter today, just a couple weeks after a Muslim producer working for Baier publicly called out Pirro’s Islamophobia on Twitter. “Congrats @JudgeJeanine on a big Saturday ratings win,” Baier tweeted this afternoon. Early last month, Pirro received widespread condemnation for Islamophobic comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), in which she suggested the lawmaker cannot adhere to the U.S. Constitution because she wears a hijab. “@JudgeJeanine can you stop spreading this false narrative that somehow Muslims hate America or women who wear a hijab aren’t American enough?” tweeted Special Report with Bret Baier associate producer Hufsa Kamal Khan on March 10. “You have Muslims working at the same network you do, including myself. K thx.” Continue reading "Bret Baier Praises Jeanine Pirro’s Ratings Weeks After Producer on His Show Called Out Host’s Islamophobia"

Rush Limbaugh Rages at Bret Baier About Russia, the Media, Immigration: ‘We Are Being Invaded!’


This post is by Ken Meyer from Mediaite


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Rush Limbaugh appeared for the first time Thursday on Bret Baier’s Fox News show Special Report, and was given two full segments to rail against Democrats, the Mueller investigation, the media, and all the other perceived foes of President Donald Trump. Limbaugh started off by gleefully slamming media coverage of Robert Mueller‘s report as a “distraction” from its bottom-line conclusion that Trump didn’t collude with Russia. (According to the attorney general’s summary, Mueller did not find sufficient evidence of a conspiracy between Trump and Russia.) He ended up tearing into Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), former FBI director James Comey, and many other Trump opponents, raving that “this whole thing is a manufactured coup” against the president. “They are lying to the American people because they can’t give it up,” Limbaugh exclaimed, as Baier sat awaiting his chance to squeeze in more questions. “It is outrageous and Continue reading "Rush Limbaugh Rages at Bret Baier About Russia, the Media, Immigration: ‘We Are Being Invaded!’"

Rivals and Colleagues Rally to Support Bret Baier After Serious Car Accident: ‘Good Man, and a Professional’


This post is by Joe DePaolo from Mediaite


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Rivals and colleagues in the cable news world are voicing their support for Fox News anchor Bret Baier following a serious automobile accident in Montana on Monday. In his statement detailing the accident, Baier said the car he was in with his wife and two sons flipped over after a crash while en route to the airport. All four passengers went to the hospital, but have now been released. Among those sending their well wishes to the Special Report anchor, the team over at MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “Good man, and a professional,” said Morning Joe contributor Mike Barnicle. Overall, there has been an outpouring of industry support. Here’s a sampling:

WATCH: Jimmy Kimmel, Jack Nicklaus Congratulate Bret Baier on 10 Years Anchoring at Fox News


This post is by Ken Meyer from Mediaite


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Jimmy Kimmel and Jack Nicklaus both offered congrats to Bret Baier for his 10 year anniversary of anchoring Special Report. It’s been a decade since the Fox host took the reins of the program in 2009, so Kimmel marked the occasion by sending him a joke gift along with a congratulatory message.
“I wanted to wish you a happy 10-year anniversary. 10 years is a long time. You know the traditional gift, specifically for you on 10 years is ‘bear’ spray. Unless it gets confiscated, look for this in the mail. Congratulations.”
As for Nicklaus, the former golf star and his wife Barbara also commended Baier for his 10 year run.
“10 years on Special Report – that’s pretty special. You know it seems like just yesterday I started watching it and all the sudden I’m 10 years older. Well, that’s the Continue reading "WATCH: Jimmy Kimmel, Jack Nicklaus Congratulate Bret Baier on 10 Years Anchoring at Fox News"

Fox News’ Bret Baier Presses Sec. Ryan Zinke on Investigations: ‘Were You Forced Out?’


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Fox News’ Bret Baier sat down with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in an interview that aired tonight, and he pressed the outgoing Cabinet official on the investigations into him. Zinke reiterated his stated reason for leaving––that there were just too many distractions––before Baier directly asked, “Were you forced out?” Zinke denied that was the case, telling Baier President Donald Trump “was sad but understood.” Baier brought up a number of investigations into his conduct, including not permitting the opening of a new Native American casino and a National Park Service report that “deleted all mention of human-caused climate change at your direction.” (Zinke called that “patently false.”) He told Baier he believes there’s a “coordinated” effort to target him. At one point when Baier read from a blistering article on his tenure at Interior, Zinke responded with, “Bunk.” “The president campaigned on draining the swamp,” Continue reading "Fox News’ Bret Baier Presses Sec. Ryan Zinke on Investigations: ‘Were You Forced Out?’"

Fox News Guest A.B. Stoddard Explodes Over Trump’s Border Wall Shutdown Debacle: ‘Political Malpractice’


This post is by Colby Hall from Mediaite


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A.B. Stoddard is a frequent contributor on Fox News’s Special Report with Bret Baier and is well respected for top-notch and dispassionate reporting from the nation’s capital that can not easily be placed in either right-of-center or left-of-center bucket. So her remarkably explosive criticism of what she described as “political malpractice” surrounding President Donald Trump’s wavering threat of a government shutdown over border wall funding was an exceptional moment for her typically calm and measured mien. At issue is the Trump administration’s back and forth over signing a compromised resolution that would avoid a government shutdown, which Stoddard reports, VP Mike Pence had alerted Senators was an agreeable resolution. But a vocal and remarkably influential set of conservative media voices appear to have had great influence on Trump, who is now claiming that he will refuse to sign any bill unless there is $5 billion in funding for the border Continue reading "Fox News Guest A.B. Stoddard Explodes Over Trump’s Border Wall Shutdown Debacle: ‘Political Malpractice’"

Fox News Scores Historic Ratings For Midterm Elections, Topping Cable and Broadcast Networks


This post is by Aidan McLaughlin from Mediaite


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Fox News scored historically high cable news ratings for midterm election coverage on Tuesday night, topping its cable news rivals and the broadcast networks. In primetime, Fox News averaged a whopping 7.78 million total viewers with 2.39 million viewers in the adults 25-54 demographic. That’s the highest-rated midterm coverage in cable news history, a Fox press release boasted. Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum co-anchored the Fox News special election coverage. Their cable news rivals trailed a few million behind, but also posted big numbers Tuesday night CNN followed with 5.07 million total viewers with 2.54 in the demo, and MSNBC came third with 4.74 million total viewers with 1.35 in the demo. Impressively, Fox News also beat broadcast networks ABC (5.56 million total, 1.95 million demo) NBC (5.69 million total, 2.28 million demo) and CBS (3.89 million total, 1. Continue reading "Fox News Scores Historic Ratings For Midterm Elections, Topping Cable and Broadcast Networks"

Saudi Foreign Minister on Fox News: Kashoggi Murder Was ‘Rogue’ and ‘They Tried to Cover It Up’


This post is by Caleb Howe from Mediaite


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During Howard Kurtz‘s Media Buzz on FOX News Channel on Sunday, FNC’s chief political anchor Bret Baier broke news when he exclusively interviewed Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, eliciting several admissions from the Minister as well as even more denials of culpability for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Not to mention a rebuffing of Sen. Rand Paul‘s earlier Fox appearance. In the first clip, above, Jubeir offered a timeline of their version of events, and said that the killing was a “huge and grave mistake.” He also said there were was an attempt to cover it up, and that they are trying to find Jamal Khashoggi‘s body or remains. He said the shifting story was because the investigation is continuing and even invoked Abu Ghraib. He put all the blame on the security team. “They told us [Khashoggi] left the consulate, came back to Continue reading "Saudi Foreign Minister on Fox News: Kashoggi Murder Was ‘Rogue’ and ‘They Tried to Cover It Up’"

New Yorker Media Critic Calls Out CNN as ‘All Trump Network’: I Get More News About Middle East From Fox News


This post is by Caleb Howe from Mediaite


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This week was the Advertising Week New York conference, which included on day 4 a media roundtable discussion featuring Fox News Channel’s Ed Henry, NPR’s Pallavi Gogoi, Ad Age President Josh Golden, CNN anchor Christine Romans, and columnist and media critic for The New Yorker, Ken Auletta. And Aluetta indeed had some media criticism to share, in this case of CNN. Aluetta not only criticized CNN, but in the process praised Fox News anchor Brett Baier, when comparing prime time news coverage on the two networks. “CNN has for years claimed that its brand was ‘we cover the world’, and in fact you have more reporters around the world than any other television network, certainly in the U.S.,” he said, directing his comment toward CNN’s Romans. “Maybe the BBC exceeds you, but nevertheless it’s one of their strengths.” “But yet if Continue reading "New Yorker Media Critic Calls Out CNN as ‘All Trump Network’: I Get More News About Middle East From Fox News"

Mediaite’s Ranking of Best Cable News Show at 6 P.M.: Ari Melber, Bret Baier, and Wolf Blitzer


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Welcome back to Mediaite’s weekly rankings of the best shows on cable news, hour-by-hour. Last week, we named MTP Daily — hosted by Chuck Todd — the top show at 5 p.m. Now, it’s on to 6 p.m. — a prestigious hour featuring a rising upstart, a flagship anchor, and a cable news legend. There have been a few agonizing decisions for team Mediaite since we began these rankings. This one might have been the toughest call yet. A reminder: We’re basing our rankings on a variety of factors, including; ratings, influence, entertainment value, the star power of hosts, the quality of guests, whether the show makes news, and its longevity. With that said, let’s dive into our ranking for the Best Show on Cable News in the 6 p.m. hour: 3. The Situation Room — Hosted by Wolf Blitzer It tears us to pieces to relegate one
Continue reading "Mediaite’s Ranking of Best Cable News Show at 6 P.M.: Ari Melber, Bret Baier, and Wolf Blitzer"

Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway: Anonymous Trump Official’s Op-Ed is ‘Huge Strategic Blunder’ For Media


This post is by Aidan McLaughlin from Mediaite


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Batten down the hatches, the Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway is out with a piping hot take: the New York Times op-ed, written anonymously by a the senior Trump administration official to warn that the president is detrimental to the republic, is a “huge strategic blunder” for… the media. After calling the op-ed a “threat to our constitutional republic,” Hemingway argued that if “the media” had a grand plan by publishing this opinion piece, it backfired. Ha! “It was just a huge strategic blunder of people in the media and people in the Resistance to think that this would go over well,” she said on Fox News Thursday. “You do not have to like Donald Trump to like our constitutional system of governance. And I think it is absolutely time for people to stop enabling and supporting this resistance and thinking about who they are resisting against.” “Or stand up and Continue reading "Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway: Anonymous Trump Official’s Op-Ed is ‘Huge Strategic Blunder’ For Media"

Fox News’ Bret Baier Grills Mitch McConnell: Are You Worried WH Officials Are Trying to Bring Trump Down?


This post is by Aidan McLaughlin from Mediaite


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Mitch McConnell appeared on Fox News for an interview with Bret Baier on Wednesday, and the anchor grilled the Senate Majority Leader over a stunning op-ed written by an anonymous White House official warning that President Donald Trump is “anti-democratic,” “petty and ineffective,” amongst other things. “Well I had not seen this piece until your set up at the beginning of this show, so therefore I really have nothing to say about it,” McConnell said of the op-ed. He went on to note that for “people who are right of center, it’s been an extraordinarily productive Congress.” Baier pointed out that the op-ed “suggests that despite [Trump’s] leadership style, these successes are happening.” After noting the Trump administration’s achievements, the anonymous official wrote: “But these successes have come despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style, which is impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.” “Do you Continue reading "Fox News’ Bret Baier Grills Mitch McConnell: Are You Worried WH Officials Are Trying to Bring Trump Down?"

Fox News Anchor Bret Baier Calls Out Trump: His Story on Cohen Was Clearly ‘Not 100 Percent Truthful’


This post is by Rachel Dicker from Mediaite


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Fox News Special Report anchor Bret Baier, known for playing it pretty close to the vest, stopped just short of saying it — President Donald Trump flat-out lied to the American people. “In the middle of all of this and with the Fox News interview with the president yesterday morning saying he didn’t know until after the payments were made, that was called into question because originally he said he didn’t know about them at all,” America’s Newsroom co-anchor Sandra Smith began — citing testimony from Trump organization CFO Allen Weisselberg corroborating Michael Cohen‘s accounts of events. “Yeah, I mean, the president’s rollout of explaining this has not been clear,” Baier confirmed. “The Washington Post says it’s a flat-out lie in their fact-checking.” “I think you could look back at the statements and clearly he was not one-hundred percent truthful as he laid that out,” he Continue reading "Fox News Anchor Bret Baier Calls Out Trump: His Story on Cohen Was Clearly ‘Not 100 Percent Truthful’"