Why Democrats Should Go on Fox

Persuadable voters are tuning in to Fox.

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By Julia Piscitelli, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Hi, my name is Julia, I am a Democrat, and I appear on Fox.

Dems, I hate to break it to you, but not only is Fox the No. 1 cable news station, they actually put more women on as experts during the day than MSNBC or CNN.

In a nation with more registered Democrats than Republicans, why is Fox still America's top-rated cable news network? Because America is captivated by conflict. Look at Jon and Kate. Their highest rated episode came after their marital problems went public. Nothing brings home the high ratings like conflict.

What's more entertaining than watching a good old-fashioned debate? Fox figured out that people would rather watch a Republican and Democrat debate an issue than two Republicans and a conservative host all saying the same thing. As a party, talking to ourselves and nodding in agreement makes us lazy and less able to defend our beliefs.

I love going on Fox. It keeps me on my toes. It's always a challenge, and I am not sure what I would do if I went on with someone who agreed with me. Sitting in a studio with Sean Hannity along with a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, and the head of a conservative think tank, defending the benefits of the stimulus or a public option in healthcare reform—that's my idea of a fun Friday night. When I train clients for press interviews, I'd be committing malpractice if I only tossed them softballs rather than simulating the actual tough questions they could face.

Yes, Democrats must talk to the base voters, but we also need to persuade moderates and independents, and the numbers prove they aren't all watching MSNBC. Persuadable voters are tuning in to Fox.

So don't boycott Fox News. Instead, embrace the challenge of going head-to-head with the opposition. Take your message to your detractors and to the people you are trying to persuade.

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