‘There is no Donald Trump without News Corp, I firmly believe that…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) A mere 10 months ago, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio stood astride his soapbox on CNN‘s “Reliable Sources” and accused Fox News of single-handedly ushering in the decline of America through racism and hate.
“They put race front and center, and they try and stir the most negative impulses in this country,” he told host Brian Stelter on the Aug. 12, 2018 broadcast.
“Today you have one outlet and one outlet only that is constantly sowing division,” he said, while absurdly claiming CNN harbored no such political agenda.
But now, the struggling 2020 hopeful, who consistently finds himself near the bottom of most people’s lists of Democratic primary prospects, is begging the top-rated Fox News to bail him out.
The New York Post reported that de Blasio had approached the right-leaning cable network for a town hall, following in the footsteps of five other prospective Trump-challenging Democrats.
“We want to talk to all voters about why the mayor is the best candidate for working people—regardless of what news channel they watch,” his campaign spokeswoman, Olivia Lapeyrolerie, told The Post.
Ironically, de Blasio’s previous remarks also targeted The Post and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which is parent company to both media outlets.
“There is no Donald Trump without News Corp, I firmly believe that,” he told Stelter.
Candidates who already have gone on the Fox News town halls—Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont; Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.; Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York; and Obama Housing Secretary Julian Castro—have benefited from the broader exposure, with an audience reach often greater than that of CNN and MSNBC combined.
Several of those have entrenched themselves on the party’s clear Left fringes—along with others like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was criticized after viciously refusing to appear on Fox News.
Some candidates, however, like Klobuchar and Buttigieg have sought to pitch themselves (albeit dubiously) as moderate liberals whose ideas might appeal to the network’s normal conservative viewers should they become disaffected enough by the Trump presidency.
De Blasio has hinted in his past rhetoric that he would attempt to win Trump voters, but he would have much to answer for in his liberal track record—notably his recent proposal to provide free healthcare for all New Yorkers, including illegal immigrants.
His stance on the state’s recent passage of a partial-birth abortion bill is also sure to be a hot-button issue for conservative audiences.
And de Blasio’s biggest shot at a conservative-friendly accomplishment—his pro-business bid to bring Amazon‘s headquarters to the city with a sweeping tax incentives deal—failed miserably, instead prompting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, to court other New York tech and financial companies to leave the tax- and regulation-oppressive state.
Meanwhile, even de Blasio loyalists express little confidence in his leadership.
Many have criticized him for putting his campaign-centered nonprofit ahead of his management of the city, and of unethically co-mingling the business and politics by personally requesting nonprofit donations from private developers seeking city contracts.
According to The Post, which cited a Quinnipiac University poll taken in early May, de Blasio had the highest negative ratings among every candidate in the Democratic field.
According to the poll, only 8 percent of voters liked de Blasio while 45 percent had an active dislike of him.
“He’s been hammered by the late-night talk shows and I don’t think you can underestimate those shows as far as the impact they have on the how people feel about politicians,” Quinnipiac analyst Tim Malloy told The Post.
That article noted that by polling above 1 percent de Blasio had met the primary threshold for participating in the first Democratic debate, which will air on NBC over two days at the end of June.
However, he was still concerned over a second threshold—donations from at least 65,000 individuals—in case too many other candidates are eligible for the first threshold.