ACTION: Freeze Out Fox News

Cross Posted At Dailykos

In response to the growing disgust over their decision to partner with Fox News to host a Democratic presidential debate, the Nevada Democratic Party issued the following statement last night:
"FOX News' viewership in Western states and across the country does not always get to hear directly from Democrats in an unedited and uninterrupted fashion. The August debate in Reno will allow the Democratic Presidential candidates to speak to the Fox audience who may be hearing from them for the first time for ninety minutes unfiltered and directly."
Unfiltered, huh? Here are some "unfiltered"highlights from the last Fox News debate for Democratic presidential candidates:
[C]onsider the September 9, 2003 Democratic debate in Baltimore, Maryland, hosted by Fox News in partnership with the Congressional Black Caucus. Fox News graphics, as well as a banner over the stage, titled the event as the "Democrat Candidate Presidential Debate," a misconstruction of "Democrat" used as an an epithet. Fox News then summarized the debate with a story titled, "Democratic Candidates Offer Grim View of America," continuing with such jabs as, "The depiction of the president as the root of all evil began at the top of Tuesday night's debate...." Controversial questions included the accusation that Howard Dean had a racist gun policy by Fox News analyst Juan Williams. There were also multiple interruptions by protesters throughout the debate, leading to four arrests.
Insulting graphics, biased post-debate spin, loaded questions, conservative protesters--none of that sounds very "unfiltered" to me. Further, how much of the debate will Fox cut off entirely in order to have their in-house pundits offer negative commentary while the Democratic candidates are still speaking? Four years ago, in typically unfiltered fashion, Fox cut away from the Democratic debate they hosted a couple of minutes before it ended, in order to give arch-conservative William Bennett the first shot at post-debate spin. One also has to imagine what new ways Fox News can think of to distort the debate. For example, before it even takes place, it is not hard to imagine promotional ads along the lines of "watch to see which Democrat best remembers his Madrassa training!"

What particularly stuns me about the Nevada Democratic Party's decision here is that they first admit Fox News is biased against Democrats, and then use that as a justification for partnering with Fox News. If you believe, as the response from the Nevada Dems implies, that Fox News does not give Democrats a chance to speak in an "unfiltered" and "direct" fashion, then continuing to do business with them is entirely-self-defeating. All that does is lend Fox News, and their attacks against Democrats, credibility. At least Barack Obama and Howard Dean have both had the good sense to freeze out Fox News after they were smeared by the network. More Democrats should follow their lead, and stop shaking the hand that slaps them.

There are numerous outlets the Nevada Democratic Party could find to broadcast this debate besides Fox News: CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN, or even live streaming video over the blogosphere. All of these outlets would provide the Democratic candidates with a much more "unfiltered" and "direct" platform to reach potential voters. Instead of providing Fox News with a means to reach a new audience--Democrats--and thereby stave off its slumping ratings, instead of giving them a golden opportunity to further distort the image of Democratic presidential candidates, and instead of providing them with credibility for all of their past and future attacks against Democrats, it would be best if the Nevada Democratic Party chose a different media partner to broadcast this debate.

In order to fight this, BlogPac has set up an email form that will allow you to contact several leading Nevada Democrats at once. Please, send an email to Nevada Democrats letting them know you oppose having Fox News host a presidential forum.

Tell Democrats to freeze out Fox News today. Remember, while we have provided you with a sample letter, a personalized email and subject header always helps.

Update: So far, over 3504507609201,1701,6501,900 people have taken the action! Let's keep going.

Tags: Activism, BlogPac, Democrats, Fox News, Media, Nevada, President 2008 (all tags)



Re: ACTION: Freeze Out Fox News

Just sent it, and sent an email to the Edwards campaign to ask them not to attend.

by jallen 2007-02-21 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: ACTION: Freeze Out Fox News
Cool. Everyone should ask their favorite 2008er to do the same.
by Chris Bowers 2007-02-21 08:35AM | 0 recs
Re: ACTION: Freeze Out Fox News

Maybe FOX can explain why it's not a conflict of interest when Cheney will, in fact, suffer financially if the war is brought to an end.

Why is Cheney making more than the soldiers fighting in it? Why are we tolerating it?

by BLOGGINGBITCH 2007-02-21 08:28AM | 0 recs
It's ludicrous that this even needs to be said.

But I'll keep this short and sweet.

Dear Nevada Dems and Senator Reid,

Please stop being idiots. Fox Noise is not your friend.  Fox Noise is not a unslanted purveyor of the news.  Fox Noise salivates collectively at the thought of feasting on Democratic rhetorical flesh.

Don't get in the soup pot.

Thank you.

by boadicea 2007-02-21 08:52AM | 0 recs
nice blunt message

Ha ha.

I modified the text in the form Chris linked us to and  made it briefer though not quite as blunt as you put it.

by Pravin 2007-02-21 09:18AM | 0 recs
I'm all for a subtle approach

when it's called for.

Sometimes, though, you really do need to hit them with a 2x4 to get their attn.

Or, a really BIG soup pot.

Pass the salt and pepper...

by boadicea 2007-02-21 09:38AM | 0 recs
Thanks for the smile, Sinsabove

Please give Todd Collins, Senator Reid, and the Nevada Dems the message, along with my regards.

by boadicea 2007-02-22 02:25PM | 0 recs
Re: ACTION: Freeze Out Fox News

I agree completely.  This kind of an event is just an excuse for some partisan shill like Brit Hume to ask a bunch of "when did you stop beating your wife" type questions. The moderator's goal will be to make everyone look bad.  Plus, this just serves to legitimize Fox News.    

by Anonymous Liberal 2007-02-21 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: ACTION: Freeze Out Fox News
And I agree completely with that. And so the cycle of smears continues...
by Chris Bowers 2007-02-21 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: O/T

Your McCain sig link is routing to a "page not found"...

by ltsply2 2007-02-21 09:09AM | 0 recs
Re: O/T
Well, I guess it is time to update that. thanks for the tip.
by Chris Bowers 2007-02-21 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: ACTION: Freeze Out Fox News

FoxNews can't be trusted, they are a right-wing tool.  No good can come from Democrat's involvement.  I have sent emails to the HRC, Obama and Edwards' campaigns, also one to the Al Gore email I have seen (not sure if that is the correct one for his draft-group) just in case he decides to run.

Why not instead ask for MSNBC to pick this debate up?  While not a Democratic "tool" they are friendlier towards the party and would bring about a more relaxed atmosphere without all the instant right-wing spinning.   It would also raise the footprint of MSNBC a lot, put them "on the map," so to speak.    I think Democrats should give that kind of nod to the network that in a way has become somewhat of a de-facto answer to Foxnews' constant smears.

by georgep 2007-02-21 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: ACTION: Freeze Out Fox News
Good point. Raising the profile of MSNBC also hurts Fox, which in turn helps Democrats.
by Chris Bowers 2007-02-21 09:14AM | 0 recs
Re: ACTION: Freeze Out Fox News

Sent. I completely support this effort to try and wake up our party establishment to our feelings re Fox and what a political no-no it is these days (at least intra-party) to deal with them.

I also edited the suggested text to make additional points. I would include some of it here, but unfortunately, I don't have a copy. I did get a "Thank you" e-mail from BlogPAC, but I would have liked to have also been auto-sent a copy of my letter, so I could send it to friends or post excerpts here or whatever. You should have a box a person can check for the option of receiving a copy of their e-mail or simply send a copy as a matter of course. It shouldn't be that difficult a thing to do, I wouldn't think.

by AmericanJedi 2007-02-21 09:15AM | 0 recs
Re: ACTION: Freeze Out Fox News
Thanks for the feedback. I'll work on that one.
by Chris Bowers 2007-02-21 09:32AM | 0 recs
Re: ACTION: Freeze Out Fox News

MSNBC is hosting a Republican debate this spring live from the Reagan Library.

However, is Joe Scarborough and Tucker Carlson going to swiftboat the repubs.

Probably not. Maybe Mccain for pandering to the religious right, but even the conservatives can stand him for that one.

by Djneedle83 2007-02-21 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re: ACTION: Freeze Out Fox News
Exactly. For them it is hosted in the Reagan library. Fox will probably host the Dem debate from a museum dedicated to the Whitewater "scandal" or something.
by Chris Bowers 2007-02-21 09:33AM | 0 recs
What about Harry Reid?

As a Nevada blogger I find it incredibly astounding that nowhere in the posts relating to the Fox debate at MyDD or by Kos at Daily Kos is there one mention of Sen. Harry Reid who basically runs the Nevada Democratic Party. What's up with that?

This is the second paragraph from the Nevada Democratic Party press release:

In making the announcement, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said, "This is more great news for Nevada.  I'm happy FOX News will be a partner for the August presidential debate.  Western issues will be a major focus of this debate in particular. With FOX News as our partner, candidates will have an opportunity to not only speak to Nevada voters, but voters across the West who will be instrumental to electing a Democratic president in 2008."

Harry Reid is the go to guy. Why send emails to the virtual state party and not its leader who was instrumental in setting up the debate?

And before you flame me, consider that Northern Nevada's top liberal blogger sees Harry Reid as the go to guy as well:

Reno and Its Discontents

by jedinecny 2007-02-21 09:45AM | 0 recs
See my comment


Sen Reid is in this up to his neck. Why he thinks this is a good idea escapes me, but he is 100% wrong.

by boadicea 2007-02-21 09:48AM | 0 recs
Re: What about Harry Reid?
Harry Reid is one of the targets of the email campaign. As it says at the bottom of the action page:

"By clicking submit for this campaign your message will be sent to Nevada Democratic Party Chair Todd Collins, Nevada Speaker of the Assembly Barbara Buckley, Nevada State Senate Minority Leader Donna Titus, U.S. Representative Shelley Berkley, and U.S. Senator Harry Reid. Your name will also be added to the BlogPac email list. You can unsubscribe at any time."

We are targeting him in this campaign.
by Chris Bowers 2007-02-21 09:48AM | 0 recs
Re: What about Harry Reid?

My bad. But I didn't see the name of Speaker Buckley, of Dina Titus, or of Shelley Berkley in that Press release. The ones selling this are Sen. Reid and also Gov. Napolitano. In all the posts it's Nevada Democratic Party this, Nevada Democratic Party that when this was a top down decision.

by jedinecny 2007-02-21 10:08AM | 0 recs
Re: ACTION: Freeze Out Fox News

Chris, thanks for bringing in the BLOGPAC big guns on this. It's needed and important. These "party leadership" crumbs are doing a lousy job of taking care of our presidential candidates.
I put the following contact info up in my diary on this, but I'll put the contacts here again minus the links to people who are feeling the rage through BLOGPAC.

Gov. Janet Napolitano is the other co-chair besides Reid:

Gov. Janet Napolitano

Please contact all of the presidential candidates and ask that they boycott this debate.

John Edwards m/

Barack Obama

Hillary Clinton m.cfm

Wesley Clark

Chris Dodd

Bill Richardson ge/s/contact

Dennis Kucinich and enter state of Ohio and zip code 44107

Mike Gravel

Tom Vilsack

Joe Biden

by johnalive 2007-02-21 10:33AM | 0 recs
Perhaps that is not a bad idea. Their audience is so small that we change the name from "Debate" or "Forum" to a "Townhall Meeting". And it can be the first interactive election debate program.
Come on folks. Let MSNBC build its audience up first. If you don't want Fox then at least CNN. We need the numbers. Period.
by joliepoint 2007-02-21 12:13PM | 0 recs
Fox News debate, the best thing that could happen!

I know this might sound odd, but think about it.

Sure Fox will do everything they can to make our candidates look bad by asking questions like Bill Clinton got when he appeared on Fox News. But a funny thing happened, Clinton fought back and in doing so exposed Fox (and the republican world view) for what it really is. ( Insert your favorite expletive here !)

I would suggest to you that having the debate on Fox is the best thing that could happen for us. And that is because we will get to find out which of our candidates is willing to stand up and fight back and fight for all of us.

Remember this is not a general election we are talking about here. This is for our ears, to help us make a decision about our candidate. So lets see who is weak and who is strong. I can't think of a better test then Fox News. Can You?

by evan108108 2007-02-21 12:35PM | 0 recs
Not a gen election debate

Which cuts several ways:

1. What Dem primary voters do you believe will be reached from Fox News?

2. Why send Dem-leaning eyes to Fox in the first place?

3. Why would you possibly want to give Fox Noise a freeby to bash the ENTIRE DEMOCRATIC field in on fell swoop to damage them for the likely weak Republican field?

Truly, this is an incredibly stoopid move.  I hope that the leading candidates take the chance to demonstate their spine and their independence by graciously declining the invitation to be served up in the Fox Noise Soup Pot.

by boadicea 2007-02-21 01:47PM | 0 recs

The NDP needs to hear us (and heed us).

by PDiddie 2007-02-21 01:25PM | 0 recs
Re: ACTION: Freeze Out Fox News

You people are pathetic.  You call yourselves tolerant, progressive, etc., yet you come unhinged when events don't agree with your political agenda.

Have you thought about the FACT that Fox News is watched by more viewers than any other cable news network, therefore, will give you the opportunity to communicate your message to more people than ever before???

by RLN2121 2007-02-22 02:42AM | 0 recs
Distortion <> communication. n/t

by boadicea 2007-02-22 11:58AM | 0 recs
Re: ACTION: Don't Freeze Out Fox News

Thought this place could use a little moderation, so here's my email:

I understand that the Nevada Democratic Party has decided to allow Fox News to televise the Democratic presidential debate on August 14, 2007 in Reno. I believe this is not a mistake and I hope you will remain supporting this decision.

It is obvious to Democrat primary voters that Fox News is openly hostile to the Democrat Party with its  line-up of conservative and liberal voices and no slant in its news. It's highly unlikely that its audience will be persuaded to vote for Democrats and Democrat partisans should be forced to patronize such a news network to see its candidates debate one another.

More importantly, Fox News may choose to follow the example it set in a previous presidential debate when it cut away from the debate before it even finished to immediately offer a sound critique from their commentator in the studio, William Bennett. The audience had time to absorb the negative message they may have received before they were given a welcomed criqitue on the entire Democrat field. They also put up a banner behind the candidates reading "Democrat Candidate Debate" instead of "Democratic Candidate Debate," asked fair questions, and produced truthful post-debate news reports. This did serve the Democrat candidates and the Democrat Party as a whole, and it certainly was unfiltered.

If Fox news were the only outlet available that would be great.  Unfortunately many outlets exist which would be thrilled to give the Democrat candidates a platform and a chance to make their case to the television audience with partisan Liberal spin. I would urge you to keep your support for this productive agreement and to not seek another news network to host this important event.


by SinsAbove 2007-02-22 12:47PM | 0 recs


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