Washington, March 7 (IANS) The Democratic National Committee said that it has barred Fox News from hosting or televising a candidate debate for the partys 2020 primary election, due to the network's ties to President Donald Trump.
The committee's chairman, Tom Perez, said in a statement on Wednesday that Fox News "is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates", The New York Times reported
Perez cited an article published this week by The New Yorker that reported on the ties, which he deemed an "inappropriate relationship".
The New Yorker said in the article that Fox News "stars" like Sean Hannity regularly advises the President. Other Fox News alumni, like Heather Nauert and Kimberly Guilfoyle, have joined the administration or Trump's inner circle.
Perez added that the article "led me to conclude" that Fox News was not fit to sponsor an official candidate forum.
Trump weighed in on Wednesday evening, sarcastically praising the Democrats' decision.
"Good, then I think I'll do the same thing with the Fake News Networks and the Radical Left Democrats in the General Election debates," he said in a Twitter post.
Televised debates are a relatively new innovation in the presidential primary process, but they have become sought-after events for networks eager to score high ratings and serve as gatekeepers in the early months of the nominating cycle, when viewers are forming their initial impressions of the candidates, The New York Times said.
So far, the Democrats have announced two primary debates for their candidates, which will air in June on NBC News and in July on CNN.