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"

Fox News Audience Boos Martha MacCallum for Question on Bernie’s Voting Rights Proposal


This post is by Aidan McLaughlin from Mediaite


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The crowd assembled for Fox News’s town hall with Sen. Bernie Sanders Monday night booed moderator Martha MacCallum for a question on the presidential candidate’s proposal to allow felons to vote. The Vermont senator argued at the town hall his belief that people with felony records should be allowed to vote while they’re in prison. “One of the things that upsets me very much is we have cowardly Republican governors who are working overtime to suppress the vote, to make it harder for people of color, for poor people, for young people, to vote,” Sanders said. “Every American 18 age or older, who is a citizen in this country, has the right to vote.” That prompted MacCallum to ask: “Couldn’t they say the same thing about you, that you just want felons to vote because it will be better for you?” “Oh come on,” Sanders replied. “I mean Continue reading "Fox News Audience Boos Martha MacCallum for Question on Bernie’s Voting Rights Proposal"

Bernie Sanders and Fox’s Martha MacCallum Spar Over Immigration: That’s ‘Not a Real Question’


This post is by Tamar Auber from Mediaite


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During a Fox News Town Hall on Monday, Sen. Bernie Sanders sparred with co-host Martha MacCallum over immigration. It started with McCallum asking this: “Immigration, and let’s talk a little bit about the border. The president, as you know, has said the capacity for asylum seekers that we’re full at the border in terms of housing, and it’s overflowing, a bad, untenable situation right now. He has suggested, and it’s been very controversial of the past few days, sending some of those people to sanctuary cities, which have said in the past that they have open doors for immigrants, and they have open doors for immigrants. So the overflow that we have no capacity for, where do you think they should go?” Sanders replied by noting, “We have a problem at the border. A serious problem. Correct me if you think I’m wrong, the problem is that we are Continue reading "Bernie Sanders and Fox’s Martha MacCallum Spar Over Immigration: That’s ‘Not a Real Question’"

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"

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"

Martha MacCallum Clashes with Eric Swalwell Over Trump Collusion Claims: ‘Are You Serious?!’


This post is by Caleb Ecarma from Mediaite


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Fox News host Martha MacCallum clashed with Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) over the lawmaker’s past comments about President Donald Trump being a “Russian agent.”” “Was it not too strong a word to call the president a Russian agent?” MacCallum pressed. “That is a very strong charge and you said you would evidence to back that up. Do you stand by that?” Swalwell accused Trump of “acting on Russia’s behalf” in various foreign policy issues, which the host also questioned. “Is that what you really meant when you called the president a Russian agent?” she asked. “I just feel like that In light of the Mueller finding, that maybe it’s time for a little retrospective of what you said in the past.” After Swalwell insisted on laying out additional evidence, MacCallum gave a snarky response: “Mueller laid out 2,800 subpoenas and two years of evidence, but Continue reading "Martha MacCallum Clashes with Eric Swalwell Over Trump Collusion Claims: ‘Are You Serious?!’"

Fox News’ Juan Williams: Limbaugh, Coulter, and Hannity Are ‘Running This Government!’


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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A Fox News panel on the government shutdown got heated tonight and Juan Williams in particular said that colleague Sean Hannityis one of a few notable conservative voices running the government. Martha MacCallum spoke with Williams, a liberal co-host of The Five, and Karl Rove about the border wall fight and Nancy Pelosi‘s (D-CA) letter to President Donald Trump about delaying the State of the Union. Rove blasted Pelosi over the move, saying she’s clearly doing this for political reasons and wants to “humiliate” Trump. “Shame on her,” he added. Williams said Trump’s the one taking a hard line on this and he clashed with MacCallum over whether Democrats are being hypocrites and on what exactly should happen at the border. “You’re hung up on whether or not the thing is called a wall,” MacCallum said. “No no no,” Williams retorted. “He wants a wall that is Continue reading "Fox News’ Juan Williams: Limbaugh, Coulter, and Hannity Are ‘Running This Government!’"

Lindsey Graham After Being Confronted With Past Remarks Vowing ‘Hell to Pay’ if Session Fired: ‘When Was That?’


This post is by Amy Russo from Mediaite


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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) faced a seemingly uncomfortable moment on Fox News Thursday when confronted with his past remarks claiming there would be “holy hell to pay” if Jeff Sessions was fired. During an interview with Martha MacCallum just a day after the Attorney General’s ouster, Sessions listened to a playback of his July 2017 comments in which he also said that “any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency, unless Mueller did something wrong.” Once the clip ended, Graham asked MacCallum, “When was that? What year?” then explained his apparent change of tune. “Every president deserves an attorney general they have confidence in and they can work with,” he said. “I like Jeff Sessions. I’ve known Jeff for a long time. I hope he goes and runs for his old Senate seat in Alabama. It’s clear to me Continue reading "Lindsey Graham After Being Confronted With Past Remarks Vowing ‘Hell to Pay’ if Session Fired: ‘When Was That?’"

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"

Fox News’ Martha MacCallum Criticizes Trump for ‘Disturbing’ Attacks on the Press


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum recently sat down with Politico’s Anna Palmer for an interview on the Women Rule podcast, and one of the issues they discussed was President Donald Trump‘s attacks on the press. Just a few days ago, Trump was back on his “enemy of the people” kick, and he’s basically lashed out at every network but Fox News over the course of his presidency. Palmer asked MacCallum about the President lobbing out “fake news” all the time. “I find it disturbing. I think it’s a mistake,” MacCallum responded. “I think there have been mistakes on all sides of this equation. I think that often, the media doesn’t cut him a break.” She said the media tends not to “give him credit for anything,” but on the other hand she doesn’t like it when he attacks outlets as “the enemy of the people.” “It puts Continue reading "Fox News’ Martha MacCallum Criticizes Trump for ‘Disturbing’ Attacks on the Press"

Martha MacCallum Rejects Criticism of Fox News: Those Who Consider Us ‘State TV’ are ‘Clearly Not Watching’


This post is by Joe DePaolo from Mediaite


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Martha McCallum is pushing back against critics of Fox News. As part of a profile piece run by the Hollywood Reporter, the host of The Story defended her network against those who believe it is “State TV.” “We have a lot of different voices,” McCallum said. “Anyone who treats it as a monolithic voice is clearly not watching.” The Fox News 7 p.m. anchor recently landed a major interview with Brett Kavanaugh days prior to his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the allegation of sexual assault made by Christine Blasey Ford. MacCallum, for the most part, received plaudits for her performance and tough questions — although there was some criticism. MacCallum told the Hollywood Reporter she had just three-and-a-half hours of prep time for the interview in the car en route from New York to Washington. “It’s the kind of thing you would like Continue reading "Martha MacCallum Rejects Criticism of Fox News: Those Who Consider Us ‘State TV’ are ‘Clearly Not Watching’"

Mediaite’s Ranking of Best Cable News Show at 7 P.M.: Chris Matthews, Erin Burnett, Martha MacCallum


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Welcome back to Mediaite’s weekly rankings of the best shows on cable news, hour-by-hour. Last week we crowned Bret Baier‘s Special Report the top show at 6 p.m. For 7 p.m., we have a similar lineup as last week, with some added star power as we creep into primetime. There’s the news veteran with a sharp tongue, an anchor who cut her teeth in business news (and has some surprising ties to President Donald Trump), and a host whose new show is making a splash. 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 7 p.m. hour: 3. OutFront — Hosted by Erin
Continue reading "Mediaite’s Ranking of Best Cable News Show at 7 P.M.: Chris Matthews, Erin Burnett, Martha MacCallum"

Martha MacCallum Battles Sen. Coons: Don’t Both Kavanaugh and Ford ‘Bear the Burden’ to Prove Credibility?


This post is by Joseph A. Wulfsohn from Mediaite


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Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum had a spirited debate with Sen. Chris Coons (D-CT) about remarks he made about Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. In the wake of the allegations made against Kavanaugh, Coons said Monday that he believes the SCOTUS has the “burden” to disprove them at Thursday’s hearing instead of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford or Deborah Ramirez. Well, MacCallum had some questions for the Democratic senator. “Since when in this country is that the way this works?” MacCallum asked. Coons responded by clarifying that this isn’t a “criminal trial,” saying “neither” Kavanaugh nor Ford should “be on trial” at the hearing, but insisted he “has the challenge of persuading” members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “And so does she, correct?” MacCallum chimed in. “She also has the same challenge.” The senator repeated that Kavanaugh still has “the challenge,” adding that Ford has “nothing to Continue reading "Martha MacCallum Battles Sen. Coons: Don’t Both Kavanaugh and Ford ‘Bear the Burden’ to Prove Credibility?"

Gillibrand Rails Against Fox News on MSNBC: ‘Trying to Confuse Voters’ About Kavanaugh


This post is by Josh Feldman from Mediaite


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Senator Kirsten Gillibrand criticized Fox News tonight for the interview Martha MacCallum did with Brett Kavanaugh. Gillibrand reiterated to Chris Hayes comments she made to Anderson Cooper last night: “A Fox News interview is not an FBI investigation.” She continued to say “they didn’t even ask all the relevant questions,” arguing there’s plenty of corroborating evidence to refute Kavanaugh “downplay[ing] his drinking.” And as Gillibrand continued, she invoked Fox News again:
“This is not a court of law. We are not proving beyond a reasonable doubt. No one’s going to jail. This is about––do you deserve the promotion? Do you deserve this job opportunity to be a Supreme Court justice? To have a lifetime appointment, to make fundamental decisions about women’s rights for perhaps decades to come, do you have the privilege to serve? Not whether you’re going to be convicted in law. So every time you hear Continue reading "Gillibrand Rails Against Fox News on MSNBC: ‘Trying to Confuse Voters’ About Kavanaugh"

Fox News’ Martha MacCallum Gets Huge Ratings Boost from Kavanaugh Interview; Tops Monday Cable News Ratings


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Fox News’ Martha MacCallum scored an exclusive interview with Brett Kavanaugh last night, and it not only scored her a big ratings win, but made her show The Story the most-watched cable news program Monday night. MacCallum pointedly asked Kavanaugh about the multiple allegations against him, and the reception was split: she was praised by many for her questioning, but others criticized her for not being tougher. Before the interview, her colleague John Roberts tweeted, “So – a lot of Twitter critics think @FoxNews will lob softballs at Kavanaugh. If they think that, they clearly don’t know @marthamaccallum at all.” A lot of people were tuned in for the big exclusive: a whopping total of 3. Continue reading "Fox News’ Martha MacCallum Gets Huge Ratings Boost from Kavanaugh Interview; Tops Monday Cable News Ratings"

The View Tussles Over Martha MacCallum’s Kavanaugh Interview on Fox News: It Was a ‘Real Softball’


This post is by Amy Russo from Mediaite


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Following Judge Brett Kavanaugh‘s exclusive interview with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum, the co-hosts of The View sparred over whether the host was too easy on the SCOTUS nominee facing sexual assault allegations. Abby Huntsman — a former Fox Newser herself who noted she was mentored by MacCallum — immediately came to her former colleague’s defense, contending that “she did a great interview.” “If you watch this interview, she is very good at what she does,” Huntsman said. “She’s also a wonderful woman. I can speak from personal experience, but she asked the questions that I would have asked if I were sitting across the room from him.” Huntsman also speculated that “they thought through this before and said, ‘Let’s sit down with a comfortable audience,’ which is Fox News,” carefully selecting MacCallum to do the questioning. However, that still didn’t sit well with Sunny Hostin, Continue reading "The View Tussles Over Martha MacCallum’s Kavanaugh Interview on Fox News: It Was a ‘Real Softball’"

Scarborough: Journalists Who’ve Decided ‘Kavanaugh is a Rapist’ Should Have a ‘D’ By Their Name


This post is by Colby Hall from Mediaite


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Embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sat with his wife for an interview yesterday with Fox News’ Martha MacCallum and provided a full-throated defense of the sexual misconduct allegations that have arisen in the past week. But instead of bringing clarity to the deeply partisan confirmation process, the interview appears to have only reinforced the positions on both sides. On one hand, it appears that Republican senators like Mitch McConnell and Lindsay Graham appear to be brazenly talking about proceeding with Kavanaugh’s confirmation regardless of what is revealed in a scheduled Thursday testimony by Dr. Christine Ford. And Democratic Senators such as Mazie Hirono and Kristen Gillibrand are speaking as though Kavanaugh is guilty of the allegations simply because there are allegations. The lack of due process in the assessment of Kavanaugh’s character and moral rectitude has vexed the set of Morning Joe. But it was the frustration brought towards cable news Continue reading "Scarborough: Journalists Who’ve Decided ‘Kavanaugh is a Rapist’ Should Have a ‘D’ By Their Name"

CNN’s Kirsten Powers Zaps Fox’s Martha MacCallum Over Kavanaugh: She Was a ‘Sympathetic Interviewer’


This post is by Joe DePaolo from Mediaite


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CNN contributor Kirsten Powers took a swipe at Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum over what she deemed to be a softball interview of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Appearing on Anderson Cooper: 360, Powers argued that MacCallum was handpicked for the job specifically because she would pull her punches. “That’s why they chose Fox News,” Powers said. “They knew it would be an easy interview, and it would be a sympathetic interviewer — which it was.” It’s worth noting that many bipartisan observers on Twitter disagreed with the take from Powers, and thought MacCallum held the judge’s feet to the fire on several key issues. Nonetheless, Powers — after criticizing the interviewer — went on to rip the interviewee. “I actually don’t think he did that great of a job, if you were just an objective observer,” she said. “Just repeating over and over that you Continue reading "CNN’s Kirsten Powers Zaps Fox’s Martha MacCallum Over Kavanaugh: She Was a ‘Sympathetic Interviewer’"

Fox News’ Martha MacCallum Receives Praise For Kavanaugh Interview: Pressing Him ‘More Than I Would Have Guessed’


This post is by Joseph A. Wulfsohn from Mediaite


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On Monday night, Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum was widely praised for her sit-down with Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Her interview with the judge was his first televised interview since the first sexual misconduct allegation surfaced almost two weeks ago. MacCallum specifically pressed him on claims made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez, as well as the allegations being publicized by Michael Avenatti. Kavanaugh denied any wrongdoing. While Twitter remains divisive on Kavanaugh, there seemed to be a consensus on MacCallum’s interview performance.