From the “What Were They Thinking Department:” The Nevada Democratic Party has announced that they will conduct an August primary debate that will air on Fox News. This is the same Fox News:
- whose chief anchor, Brit Hume, dismissively described Rep. John Murtha as senile.
- whose VP, John Moody, claims that terrorists are “thrilled” with the Democratic Congress.
- whose top on-air personality, Bill O’Reilly, accuses Democrats of wanting to lose the war in Iraq.
- whose #2 program’s host, Sean Hannity, called for assassinating Nancy Pelosi to keep her from becoming speaker.
- whose recently named head of the upcoming Fox Business Channel, Neil Cavuto, asks if “Democratic leaders who criticize the war in Iraq actually aiding the terrorists?” (and where Nevada’s Republican Senator, John Ensign answers, “You bet they are.”).
- whose chairman, Rupert Murdoch, admitted that he manipulates the news to shape public opinion.
For the Nevada Democratic party to get in bed with the liars and propagandists at Fox is, at best, naive and, at worst, suicide. They make the claim that it will be helpful to appeal to Fox’ audience, whom they don’t have an opportunity to engage very often. If that argument ever held water (which it doesn’t), it certainly does not for a debate amongst Democratic “primary” candidates. In the general election you might want to reach the broader electorate, but how many Fox viewers are registered Democrats who will be voting in the primary?
Last month, Fox ran some irresponsibly false stories claiming that Barack Obama had attended a radical Muslim Madrassa as a child in Indonesia. They later falsely accused Hillary Clinton’s campaign of leaking the news item. In response, Obama reportedly “froze out” Fox News and declined appearances and comments. That was exactly the right way to deal with a network that can only be expected to sabotage the interests of Democrats. They’ve said as much over and over again.
Obama should be the first candidate to declare that he will not appear in the August debate if Fox remains its host. Nothing has changed at the network. They have neither apologized nor issued a correction, so Obama’s shoulder ought still to be cold. Then Hillary and the rest of the field should follow suit. Not a single one of the Democrats has anything to lose by snubbing the debate, and not a thing to gain by submitting to it. CNN is hosting a Nevada debate in November, so the candidates and the citizens will have ample opportunity to engage one another.
Until Fox has demonstrated that it is not hostile to the party, Democrats should not lend the network any air of legitimacy. More importantly, they should not let themselves be suckered into an event that their hosts will most assuredly use against them if given the chance.
BlogPac is mobilizing an email campaign to Tell Democrats to Freeze Out Fox News.