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Photo: Warren campaign

We love Elizabeth Warren. She's smart and will have unveiled seven new policy proposals before you've finished this post. We also appreciate her straight talk. She's said repeatedly that Vice President Mike Pence is a bigoted bag of hair. Now she's given a patrician middle finger to Fox News. The senator from Massachusetts announced on Twitter today that she's turned down an offer to attend a town hall hosted by the right-wing propaganda outlet. She did not pretend she had to stay home and wash her hair.


God with a side of damn! Liz ain't playing. Now, your average Democrat is obsessed with appearing openminded and willing to engage on important matters with anyone, regardless of their views. "The West Wing" convinced us this was noble and not just stupid. Bernie Sanders was the first 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to appear on Fox, and the network devoted the next 24 hours to dragging him like the muffler on a broke-ass car. But it was ratings gold, so other candidates chased the racist coffin-dodger vote. Amy Klobuchar did a Fox town hall last week. They even provided salads with forks. Pete Buttigieg is scheduled for one this weekend. The all-white audience will at least make more sense than the ones at some of his other appearances. Fox is almost a step up from the other conservative company Buttigieg was willing to keep.

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Ben Shapiro is a vile bigot who mocked the death of Trayvon Martin. This might explain why Buttigieg has zero (yes, zero) support from black Democratic voters in South Carolina. Warren has campaigned from day one as though she's actually aware black people exist. Black folks are the most reliable Democratic voting bloc, and Fox News is less popular with black people than CMT. Warren's tweet storm expresses clearly and passionately how most of us feel about Fox. We have grimaced and bit our tongues when so-called allies rationalize Fox as just expressing a "different point of view." It is beyond gratifying to see Warren, a major presidential candidate, stand with us against a network that willingly employs Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. (By the way, our dad just called from South Carolina to say he's donated to Warren's campaign and is wearing her T-shirt.) [Tell your dad to buy ours, dummy. -- Editrix]

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Warren is on fire here. She hobbles the tired-ass excuse that Sean Hannity and "Fox & Friends" are just the "opinion section" of an otherwise reputable news source. This isn't even about ideology. The recent boycotts against Carlson and Ingraham weren't because they're conservative but because they're unapologetic racists. Warren understands that her presence on Fox normalizes the network, which helps Fox more than it does Democrats. There are very few persuadable voters who watch Fox exclusively. If you want to reach Obama-to-Trump voters, there are better options.

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Democrats don't need Fox. Fox needs Democratic viewers. Warren is the first to say this. She also rightly recognizes herself as a sizable draw, and she has no interest in improving Fox's ratings so the network can keep the My Pillow guy happy.

Bill Maher claimed it was very "Trumpian" for Democrats to refuse to hold debates on Fox. This is a dumb argument that lets Fox claim it's the only home for conservative thought. You can be a Republican or a conservative. You just can't be a bigot and a liar. Warren recognizes that Fox has no interest in a "real debate." Democrats can't call for a return to "civility" and then go on Fox, which murders civility daily.

Conservatives, even moderates, are going to slam Warren for her decision. But no one can honestly claim Warren isn't working hard to reach any voter open to her message. She's even dropped policy in West Virginia. She's not a coastal elite afraid of people who disagree with her. She just don't have time for Fox's particular brand of bigoted, know-nothing bullshit.

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Fox is a pervasive weed that's overgrown our rhetorical garden. And Warren has whipped out her hedge shears. This moves us not just politically but personally. She's on our side. She'll have our back. And from this moment forward, this writer will always have hers.

Now go stock up on Warren swag.

[New York Times]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He recently fled Seattle, where he did theatre work for Book-It Rep and Cafe Nordo.

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