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It seemed to me, that the town hall went unusually well for Bernie and it seemed, that FOX was actually very fair, maybe even suspiciously so towards him.

When comparing this town hall to previous town halls on Fox news, where they interviewed a democratic presidential candidate, did the town hall with Bernie Sanders differ in any obvious way, which would give him an advantage?

What I found very strange was all the cheering from the live audience. I thought, that most of the live audience would be right leaning and not inclined to cheer about democratic talking points.

Now, I am not trying to ask why that may be the case, but if it is the case, if this town hall was less biased than similar previous town halls. I Hope that makes this question answerable.

  • Are you looking for documented facts that prove it was unusual? That may be hard to find. – Karlomanio Apr 25 at 20:41
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    It was very unusual. There was a point where the moderator interjected and asked the crowd if they really wanted government sponsored health care or something to that effect, and contrary to what the moderator expected, the crowd basically cheered and went f'ck yeah. – Denis de Bernardy Apr 25 at 21:00
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    @DenisdeBernardy what I also found odd, was that Bernie was allowed to basically have as much time to answer any question as he needed and was not interrupted, even when straying way off topic. – user1721135 Apr 25 at 21:20
  • And for some reason, he seems to have been treated worse on cnn lol. – user1721135 Apr 25 at 22:03
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    Relevant article : fivethirtyeight.com/features/… – Evargalo Apr 26 at 13:00
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It's important to note that Fox Studios are in New York and sourcing local voters would likely get the response seen. Bernie did take some minor flack for announcing he would be on Fox News, but he pointed out that the Democrats need to attempt to make inroads into media favored by Republicans to discuss issues that are not just "Trump is Bad".

Another reason is that Fox tends to hire journalists from both sides of the political spectrum and the particular moderator (Chris Wallace) is a highly respected journalist who previously worked for NBC and ABC before joining Fox in 2003. Wallace is still a registered democrat (though he doesn't always vote for them in the general).

And he's not the only one in Fox's employ. Shepard Smith doesn't have any major statements on politics but tends to report from angles that they typical Fox Viewer would not appreciate and in 2017 came out as gay. Fox has also recently hired Donna Brazile who explicitly said she wasn't betraying her party but felt the job would allow her to better speak to the other side of the aisle on democratic positions. Even Tucker Carlson was on CNN and MSNBC before being picked up by Fox (famous for being mocked by Jon Stewart's appearance on his co-hosted show... along with his co-host.).

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    used to be on another network or used to be a respected journalist doesn't really say much how people will behave now. Lou Dobbs eg used to be a respected journalist, but now he is mostly known for peddling far-right conspiracy theories. Carlson may have been on MSNBC, but now he is known for his white supremacism. People change (either who they are, or how they represent themselves). – tim Apr 26 at 6:29
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    Even if Fox Studios is in New York, the town hall was filmed in Bethlehem, PA. – Brythan Apr 26 at 8:32
  • @Brythan Bethlehem's district voted for Clinton in 2016 and a Democrat for the House in 2018. It's also a district prone to flipping. Still, let's reverse the situation... If CNN did a Town Hall with Trump, who's more likely to show up: CNN's typical audience who would cheer for universal health care? Or Trump Supporters, who would boo it? – hszmv Apr 26 at 13:39
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    @hszmv This last comment speaks volumes. Have you even read the article you linked? There are whole sections specifically comparing Fox News with the aggregation of all other outlets in the study, particularly because it's such an outlier. The number you cited (52%, so a very small majority) is about overall coverage. By your criteria you could also say Breitbart is also very balanced because it's the only news outlet that gives roughly 50% positive coverage to Adolf Hitler. Never mind the fact that there might be very good reasons to give the guy bad coverage. – armatita Apr 26 at 15:33
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    @Armatita: I'm going to have to ask you to cite articles to positive spins on Hitler in Breitbart articles. I'm having my doubts to your claim that they have such a spin in Hitler's favor. – hszmv Apr 26 at 19:11

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