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Sen. Elizabeth Warren: 'Fox News is a hate-for-profit racket'

Presidential hopeful turned down network offer of televised town hall

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., torched Fox News on Twitter and in an email to supporters Tuesday. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren inveighed against Fox News on Tuesday, calling the conservative network a “hate-for-profit racket.”

“Fox News invited me to do a town hall on their network. I turned them down,” Warren wrote in an email to supporters.

The Democratic presidential candidate framed her decision this way: An appearance on Fox News might boost ratings of a network with a record of stoking racial division and invoking bigoted talking points, while providing cover for the channel to appeal to advertisers as being more than an arm of the Republican Party.

“Fox News is a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists—it’s designed to turn us against each other, risking life and death consequences, to provide cover for the corruption that’s rotting our government and hollowing out our middle class,” Warren wrote in a fundraising pitch to supporters and on Twitter.

She said the network has seen advertisers “pull out of their hate-filled space” and a town hall with a Democratic candidate provided the Fox sales team “a way to tell potential sponsors it's safe to buy ads on Fox.”

Warren's stinging criticism of the channel also serves as an implicit criticism of rivals who have participated in Fox News town halls.

In April, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was the first presidential candidate to hold a town hall on Fox. He earned praise from supporters for winning over an audience in Pennsylvania on his proposal to transition away from private insurance to “Medicare for All.”

In a field of nearly two dozen candidates, Sanders and Warren are competing intensely for the most liberal part of the Democratic electorate. 

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who has offered herself as someone who could work with both parties, has also participated in a Fox News town hall. The network has announced plans to host town halls with New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Warren appeared on Fox News three times last year, the Daily Beast reported.

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