On Tuesday night, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee aired a segment in which Bee questioned why so many Democratic primary candidates for president were appearing on Fox News town halls. She noted that Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the openly gay presidential candidate from South Bend, Indiana, made the crucial error of holding a town hall on the conservative network during the Game of Thrones series finale.
“This was the worst scheduled media event since Jay-Z decided that September 11th, 2001 was the day to release his iconic album, 9/11 Will Never Happen,” Bee quipped.
But besides noting the obvious scheduling faux pas, Bee was openly skeptical about the merits of appearing on Fox News as a Democratic candidate in order to appeal to more voters. After Senator Bernie Sanders received high approval ratings for his appearance on the network, more Democratic candidates scheduled their own Fox News town halls, with two vocal exceptions: Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Kamala Harris.
Bee responded to criticism that both Warren and Harris were “too scared” to appear on the network by noting both candidates’ tenacity and ability to grill their opponents. “Every time one of these women speaks to a Republican, it ends up on a shirt!” said Bee.
Bee remarked that while it may be strategically beneficial to reach across the aisle to voters through Fox News (or even other Democrats – a recent report by the Washington Post showed that 10% of Fox viewers were left-leaning or independent), it should not be thought of as a requirement for the candidacy. Fox News is, as Elizabeth Warren put it, a “hate-for-profit racket,” and one that has in the past been unkind to both Warren and Harris, parroting Trump’s “Pocahontas” nickname towards Warren and accidentally mixing up Harris’ pictures with those of a suspected murderer.
“At a certain point, if you play along with Fox long enough, you don’t look principled or bipartisan – you just look stupid,” said Bee. She noted that even after Buttigieg received a standing ovation at his town hall, one of his answers having to do with the Founding Fathers was taken out of context and picked apart the next morning on Fox & Friends.
“As Democrats, there are easier ways for you to get lots of Fox News airtime,” said Bee. “You can talk about climate change or wear pajamas or, if all those options fail, just be Hillary Clinton.”