Update 2: Nevada Dems Cut and Run From Fox Debate
The Nevada State Democratic Party is pulling out of a presidential debate scheduled for Aug. 14 in Reno, according to Democratic insiders, the Politico has learned.
The debate was being hosted by Fox News Channel and Fox News Radio, the Nevada State Democratic Party and the Western Majority Project.
Democratic activists have protested that Fox is not a suitable partner for the event.
- Update 2: Meltdown over Fox
The folks at reviewjournal.com offer some choice observations about what could be mildly described as an over-reaction. I'll differ with the common misconception that Fox News is a Republican mouthpiece. Fox simply knows the audience, something that the others apparently have lost sight of. As such, they have built the outlet into the cable news leader, yanking the market away from CNN.
While Fox News contracts a number of conservative analysts, their actual news content is not as blatantly biased as say, CBS News, who just a few days ago hired on avowed liberal and former CNN and MSNBC president Rick Kaplan to help Katie Couric's struggling "CBS Evening News" broadcast. Rather, I'd classify Fox News delivery simply as 'traditional.'
In the American broadcast, print, and cable news markets, Fox News stands alone in an industry dominated by liberals. More importantly, Fox News has the largest audience on cable. If you want cable coverage of an event, it make good sense to call Fox.
That's what makes any over reaction to Fox News comical to the point of embarrassment:
Hard-core liberals can't stand the Fox News Channel. Passing a television that's tuned to the conservative favorite forces many of them to close their eyes, cover their ears and scream, "La la la la la la la la la!" Then they dash to their computers and fire off 2,500 e-mails condemning the outlet, none of which are ever read.More news from: The Washington Post; The Washington Times; Fox News (after a day of silence they finally had something to say); CBS News.
But liberals' aversion to Fox News has finally gone over the top. The Nevada Democratic Party had agreed to let the right-tilting network co-sponsor, of all things, an August debate in Reno between Democratic presidential candidates. Party officials were serious about drawing national attention to the state's January presidential caucus, the country's second in the 2008 nominating process. What better way for the party to reach conservative and "values" voters who might consider changing allegiances?
But the socialist, Web-addicted wing of the Democratic Party was apoplectic. The prospect of having to watch Fox News to see their own candidates would have been torture in itself. So they set the blogosphere aflame with efforts to kill the broadcast arrangement, or at least have all the candidates pull out of the event. Before Friday, the opportunistic John Edwards was the only candidate to jump on that bandwagon.
You'd think the deal called for having Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter mock the candidates between comments. No, even unfiltered, unedited, live debate between loyal Democrats couldn't be entrusted to Fox News.
The approach of outfits such as MoveOn.org is so juvenile it's laughable. Imagine if every political organization created litmus tests for news organizations before agreeing to appear on their programming. Republicans would have boycotted PBS, CBS, NBC, ABC, National Public Radio and The Associated Press decades ago.
- Update 1: More from the Las Vegas Sun:
"Comments made last night by Fox News President Roger Ailes in reference to one of our presidential candidates went too far. We cannot, as good Democrats, put our party in a position to defend such comments," state Democratic Party Chairman Tom Collins and Nevada Sen. Harry Reid wrote in a letter sent Friday to Fox News.Ailes reportedly made a comment playing on the similarity of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's name to Osama Bin Laden.
"And it is true that Barack Obama is on the move. I don't know if it's true that President Bush called Musharraf and said, 'Why can't we catch this guy?" Ailes said at a Radio & Television News Directors Association Foundation event in Washington on Thursday, according to a transcipt provided by Fox.With the cancellation at hand, MoveOn.org quickly declared victory.
"We hope this sets a precedent for all Democrats, that Fox should be treated as a right-wing misinformation network, not legitimized as a neutral source of news," Eli Pariser, executive director of MoveOn.org Civic Action, said in a statement.I posted here yesterday about Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' decision to not participate in the Fox sponsored debate.
This is part of an emerging trend where Democrats feel the need to make public statements through far-left blogs ... an often times favorable forum where popular Democrat candidates are rarely asked to explain their motives and decisions.
I'll say again what I said yesterday. If the Democrats feel so threatened by Fox News, what makes them believe they can handle extremists whose only goal in life is to kill Americans?
Roger Ailes said this in a message to the media: the pressure to boycott debates "must be resisted."
This pressure must be resisted as it has been in the past. Any candidate for high office of either party who believes he can blacklist any news organization is making a terrible mistake about journalists. And any candidate of either party who cannot answer direct, simple, even tough questions from any journalist runs a real risk of losing the voters.Posted on the Drudge Report, David Rhodes, Vice President, Fox News said the following:
“We have not received official word from the Nevada State Democratic Party disclosing a change in debate plans. Rumors are being circulated and if true, news organizations will want to think twice before getting involved in the Nevada Democratic Caucus which appears to be controlled by radical fringe out-of-state interest groups, not the Nevada Democratic Party. In the past, Moveon.org has said they ‘own’ the Democratic party -- while most Democrats don’t agree with that, we’re waiting to see if that’s the case in Nevada.”More on the story from: The New York Times; CBS News; TVNewser.
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