Fox News hosted a town hall event with 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent – Vermont on April 15, 2019.
While the event was a ratings win for the insanely popular cable news network, President Donald J. Trump was less than thrilled with the outcome.
The day after the town hall took place, Trump took a shot at Fox News over the way the event was handled.
This is somewhat surprising given that Fox News is reportedly an outlet he trusts for fair and reliable news coverage.
According to TheBlaze, numerous videos from the town hall garnered widespread media attention.
The videos showed a substantial amount of enthusiastic Sanders supporters in attendance. These Sanders fans voiced their approval for progressive policies such as Medicare for All with loud cheering.
The President was angered when he saw a high number of his supporters remaining outside the studio as the Sanders fans were ushered inside.
Expressing his angst, Trump tweeted, “Many Trump Fans & Signs were outside of the @FoxNews Studio last night in the now thriving (Thank you President Trump) Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for the interview with Crazy Bernie Sanders.
Big complaints about not being let in-stuffed with Bernie supporters. What’s with @FoxNews?”
It probably didn’t help matters that Sanders’ town hall earned Fox News massive ratings.
The broadcast completely dominated competing programming on other cable news networks.
It also bested town hall ratings held so far for other 2020 Democratic candidates.
Regarding the success of the event, the Daily Beast Reported, “According to early Nielsen data, more than 2.5 million viewers tuned in to hear Sanders, a self-described ‘democratic socialist,’ make his case on Fox News during the 6:30 pm hour, prior to prime-time.
That total viewership bested CNN’s Bernie Sanders town hall event from back in February, and it doubled MSNBC’s during the same time period on Monday evening, and nearly tripled CNN’s.”
The Daily Beast also noted, “The prior town hall rating record for the 2020 cycle was a CNN-hosted event with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), which drew 1.95 million total viewers.”
Interestingly, the Democratic National Committee has refused to have any 2020 Democratic debates on Fox News.
Despite this fact, a few Democratic presidential hopefuls are expressing interest in entering untamed waters in order to reach a more conservative audience during the primary. After the success of the Sanders town hall, others will likely follow suit.
According to TheBlaze, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat – Minnesota, will hold a town hall in May on Fox News. Reportedly, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Representative Eric Swalwell, Democrat – California, are also in the process of negotiating to appear on the news outlet.
Former Representative Beto O’Rourke, Democrat – Texas, has also expressed interest.
This isn’t the first time this year that the President has made his dissatisfaction with Fox News known.
In late January, Trump was displeased with a couple of Fox News reporters’ coverage of the particularly contentious border wall battle that was happening in Congress.
On January 27, the President tweeted, “Never thought I’d say this but I think @johnrobertsFox and @GillianHTurner @FoxNews have even less understanding of the Wall negotiations than the folks at FAKE NEWS CNN & NBC! Look to final results!
Don’t know how my poll numbers are so good, especially up 19% with Hispanics?”
At least one Fox News employee was offended by Trump’s remarks about her colleagues according to Breitbart. On January 28, addressing the President, Fox News anchor Julie Banderas tweeted, “@realDonaldTrump This is NOT right. I stand by my colleagues @johnrobertsFox and @GillianHTurner They don’t deserve this. No reporter does. They are doing their jobs and reporting the facts. They are not opinion journalists and deserve the respect from the @WhiteHouse they cover.”
When someone responded by tweeting that Banderas couldn’t take some criticism, the Fox News anchor tweeted, “We can and do stand plenty of criticism every day which is fine coming from everyday viewers. Our jobs are not meant to please others. But the office of the @POTUS ought not to be the one lashing out. That’s not how this country works. That’s not how Freedom of the Press works.”
As the 2020 election cycle unfolds, it’ll be fascinating to see how, or even if, Trump’s relationship with Fox News changes.
If nothing else, he can always count on staunch Fox News allies Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro.