Just two weeks after Tom Perez, the current Democratic National Committee (DNC) chair, announced his intention to ban Fox News from hosting any Democratic primary debates, the network signed Donna Brazile, a former DNC chair, as a contributor. The decision was announced on Monday, noting that Brazile would serve as a political analyst.
After Fox News made the announcement, Brazile spoke out, preemptively scolding progressives who may criticize her for the decision.
“I’m delighted to be joining FOX News. I know I’m going to get criticized from my friends in the progressive movement for being on FOX News,” said Brazile, according to a report by the Daily Caller.
“My response is that, if we’ve learned anything from the 2016 election, it is that we can’t have a country where we don’t talk to those who disagree with our political views,” she continued.
“There’s an audience on FOX News that doesn’t hear enough from Democrats. We have to engage that audience and show Americans of every stripe what we stand for rather than retreat into our ‘safe spaces’ where we simply agree with each other.”
Brazile also asserted that she intends to be herself when appearing on Fox News, stating that she will bring “just as much New Orleans hot sauce as folks expect.”
In early March, Perez stated that he would not allow Fox News to host Democratic primary debates, referencing an article by The New Yorker that alleged the network is functioning as a propaganda outlet for President Donald Trump.
“Recent reporting in the New Yorker on the inappropriate relationship between President Trump, his administration and Fox News has led me to conclude that the network is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates,” said Perez in a statement. “Therefore, Fox News will not serve as a media partner for the 2020 Democratic primary debates.”
Ed Rendell, a former DNC chair, criticized Perez for the decision, arguing that spreading the Democrat’s message as far as possible should be a priority and asserting that the network has plenty of anchors who would make sure that the debates were fair.
Brazile has also been part of a controversy regarding Democratic debates. In 2016, emails released by WikiLeaks showed that she shared information about the CNN debate and town hall questions with Hillary Clinton in advance of the event.