Hartford Courant: “Jim Himes disagrees with Democrats’ boycott of Fox News for presidential primary debates”

Not all Democrats are in favor of the party’s Fox News blackout for the presidential primary season.

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., told CNN Monday that he disagreed with a boycott ordered by the Democratic National Committee of Fox, which was the focus of a scathing report by the New Yorker last week in which one source referred to the Rupert Murdoch-owned network as the closest thing the U.S. has to “state television.”

“Well, with all due respect to the [Democratic National Committee], no, I don’t think it was the right decision,” Himes told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day.”

Despite the network’s conservative viewership and its commentators promoting President Donald Trump, that hasn’t stopped Himes from appearing on Fox, which has the highest cable news ratings. He’s done interviews with Tucker Carlson and Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business Network.

“As they say, ‘You don’t need to persuade your friends, you need to persuade people who disagree with you.’ So I would’ve made a different decision,” Himes said.

Fox has come under fire from Democrats for what the New Yorker characterized as its quashing of the story about hush money payments made by disgraced Trump lawyer Michael Cohen on behalf of the president to adult film star Stormy Daniels.

An appearance by Fox commentator Sean Hannity at a campaign rally for Trump has opened up the network to further criticism that it is in the tank for Trump.

“You know, look, it’s no surprise to anybody, including Fox News watchers, that Fox is largely an instrument of the right wing — of the Republican Party. It’s a propaganda arm for the White House,” Himes said

Himes said that presidential primary debates are highly structured and don’t lend themselves to moderators injecting the opinions into the program.

“It is, in some senses, fair. It’s not like, you know, Sean Hannity can jump in and challenge Bernie Sanders,” he said.

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