The idea of Fox News hosting a Democratic debate, a notion that comes up every so often, was repeated again last night, this time by Fox News Channel host Bret Baier during an interview with DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
“You’ve had six debates so far and I think you have four more on the books. How about letting the Fox News debate team handle one of those?” Baier asked the DNC chair.
And Wasserman Schultz straight up pivoted, as if she herself were on a debate stage. “You know, we have got a lot on our plate and I’m really happy to be here with you on your network–there aren’t a whole lot of Democrats who come on, and I always look forward to our conversations, Bret and look forward to sparring with you and some of your hosts all the way through the campaign.”
The idea of a FNC-hosted debate has its fans. Erik Wemple is one, who argues that putting the Democratic candidates on FNC would give them expanded reach, as well as a venue for testing out their readiness for the general election:
Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier and Chris Wallace are a capable debate moderation team, as they’ve proven twice on the GOP side during this cycle. Why not put the Democratic contenders before this panel? If the goal is to win the White House in the general election, the prudent course is to test the primary contenders as thoroughly as possible. It’s hard to argue that the Kelly-Baier-Wallace team wouldn’t prepare Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) or Clinton for the fall debates.
The call for the DNC to have FNC as a host has come from unexpected corners. In September it was a writer in the Daily Kos’ Progressive Atheist blog with the pro argument, making the case that opening the candidates up to a new audience, and, by extension, a new class of voters, would be a net benefit.
But Wasserman Schultz’s response indicates that this is likely to remain merely a counterfactual thought experiment.