Should Democrats Go On Fox?

The Politico tells us that some netroots types aren’t pleased with the fact that Howard Dean, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton are all appearing on Fox News.

Markos Moulitsas, founder of the leading liberal site Daily Kos, told Politico’s Michael Calderone: “Democrats are being idiotic by going on that network.”

Ari Melber, the Net movement correspondent for The Nation, told Politico by phone that progressive activists and the Netroots are “not happy about it.”

“I don’t think that it is tenable to completely neglect or ignore what your base wants,” Melber said.

I agree with Melber to an extent, but I suppose I’m not entirely sure why the base would be particularly concerned with keeping their candidates off of a well-watched news channel. Perhaps I’m not enough of a partisan, but I wouldn’t be bothered — in fact, I’d be rather thrilled — to see any conservative candidate, especially one I particularly liked, do an interview with Keith Olbermann, or even, say, a sit down with The Nation. There might be a case for conservatives to avoid talking with some of the net’s most notorious fire-breathers — those who’ve been not just critical, but vulgar and cruel. Even there, though, I think I’d be fine with it so long as the interview didn’t turn into an insult fest.

If anything, I think a good candidate — a strong personality who can forcefully defend his or her ideas — stands to gain from public face offs with oppositional parties. On one hand, it gives the candidate an opportunity to offer clear and direct responses to criticisms, potentially putting out a lot of fires, and thus convincing some of those who may be sitting on the fence. And a command performance in such an atmosphere ought to offer up a lot of stirring moments which the base will find appealing. Interviews with the other side provide candidates an opportunity to shine. And if not, well, why support a candidate who you think will wilt when pitched anything more than a softball?