More Opaque Arrogance from Harry Reid and Tom Collins

Last week, Moveon offered the Nevada Democratic Party a compromise on the debate - the debate would be co-hosted and co-branded by Air America.  This would have addressed our concern that Fox News was being validated as a neutral news outlet.  In response, the Nevada Democratic Party leadership suggested that inviting one progressive voice onto the panel would be acceptable, with no co-branding involved.  This obviously missed the point and would not address the concerns of Democrats who are constantly slimed by a supposedly neutral Fox News.  

Since we started this conversation, other sordid details have emerged.  The executive board of the Democratic Party was not consulted on this decision, Harry Reid has been silent, and no one will take responsibility for this decision.  Based on pressure from John Edwards and grassroots Democrats, Harry Reid is now feeling pressure because the debate is falling apart, so he's now pretending to be concerned about a decision that he in all likelihood made himself.

And so, Tom Collins offered publicly the same exact deal that was rejected last week, a deal that still validates Fox News as a neutral news outlet.  Collins addressed none of our concerns, was completely non-transparent about the decision, and is continuing to poison the Nevada Democratic Party with poor decisions.  Only three union leaders and only two executive board members backed this choice.  Even Harry Reid is now rhetorically backing away.

This is a really sad and pathetic spectacle.  This campaign didn't happen because a few people were mad at Fox News.  This is an organic argument from hundreds of thousands of Democrats who feel that validating Fox News and its partisan disinformation campaign as a neutral news outlet cuts against our core values.  And John Edwards (and other candidates in all likelihood) agree with this assessment.  

This is really quite outrageous behavior from both Tom Collins and Harry Reid.  Fox News is not a neutral news outlet, and it shouldn't be treated as such.  And it's pretty clear that these people are offering Nevada Democrats and activists nothing but bad faith nonsense.  They are willing to scuttle the opportunity for a real debate about the future of the country rather than admit that what hundreds of thousands of Democrats believe is important.

Once again, please call Reid's offices and ask him to not legitimize Fox News as a neutral news outlet.  If you are not in Nevada, use this number: 202-224-3542 / Fax: 202-224-7327

If you live in Nevada, use this number, which is restricted to 775 and 702 area codes: 1-866-SEN-REID (736-7343)

Tags: 2008, Debate, Fox News, Harry Reid, netroots, presidential debate, Tom Collins (all tags)



Re: More Opaque Arrogance from Harry Reid and Tom

It really was a bad compromise in the first place.  Air America is a total nonentity compared to Fox News, and what's more, Air America is honestly branded as progressive talk, as opposed to Fox which chooses to maintain the "fair and balanced" fiction.

But having rejected the compromise, these guys can't run back to it as a fallback position now.  We should no more have the name of Fox News on this debate than we would want the name of Rush Limbaugh on it.

by Steve M 2007-03-07 10:18AM | 0 recs
Re: More Opaque Arrogance from Harry Reid and Tom

If they were talking about co-branding it as a Fox News/Air America debate, that's one thing. That would explicitly put Fox on the side of the spectrum where it belongs: as a partisan news outlet. But just throwing an "Air America" voice on the panel doesn't do sh*t. And it shows that Tom Collins doesn't understand the real issue at hand. This isn't about the panelists asking leading questions.

by BriVT 2007-03-07 11:47AM | 0 recs
Harry Reid and Tom Collins

It's been a day since Edwards announced he would not participate in a FOX debate.  Where are the other candidates?

by Vox Populi 2007-03-07 10:24AM | 0 recs
Relax! It took awhile to get Edwards on board. :)

You'll see.

by Yoshimi 2007-03-07 10:31AM | 0 recs
Edwards on board. :)

I think it's great because it's another example of Edwards providing leadership on an issue (like issuing the first substantive health care proposal and calling for blocking funding for the Iraq escalation and supporting the Webb Bill).

by Vox Populi 2007-03-07 10:41AM | 0 recs
Pandering and Panicking

Pandering and Panicking. That's all this is. It's obvious that the wheels are spinning, now that Edwards has jumped ship. Just take a look at Tom Collins' mail to Nevada Democrats. The Air America thing is not all. He talks about "a local progessive voice" joining the panel. Not naming names suggests that he doesn't have any clue who that should be and has probably not approached anyone (as if a "progessive voice" would accept this anyways). He also talks about Politics TV airing the debate on its website if "they agree". He probably hasn't talked to them either. This is a joke. Thank God a new chair will be elected at the end of the month.

by jedinecny 2007-03-07 10:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Pandering and Panicking

So what happened to the conference call? Did it happen or was this just stuffed down the Exec Board's throat? Again?

by texex 2007-03-07 12:18PM | 0 recs

If they don't like Air America as co-hosts, how 'bout Paul Krugman and EJ Dionne?

And has anyone asked Obama why he's going on with the "Obama went to a madrassa!" network?

by BlueinColorado 2007-03-07 10:51AM | 0 recs
He might not even care about a debate

5 months from now.  Note that currently you won't find too many stories on Fox News about Obama.

I wonder why? :)

btw, he has a day job and so does Hillary.  Today, they are taking care of the Walter Reed mess and they probably have better things to do than fret over a little debate that will be broadcast on a network either of them care about. :)

Both candidates will come around. :)  

by Yoshimi 2007-03-07 11:01AM | 0 recs
Too obscure a point
I'm disappointed at the compromise that was offered. The justification for adding Air America and keeping Fox sounds like MoveOn and whoever else was involved were reaching to make too obscure a point. A simple powerful call to dump Fox is the only message that ever should have been sent.
Who cares if Air America is involved, or if there is a progressive panelist who lobs feel-good questions at the candidates? Fox, shouldn't be straffing our candidates in our primaries at our invitation in the first place.
Anyway, I don't want to get bogged down in recriminations amongst ourselves. Hopefully, MoveOn is onboard now with the effort to ditch Fox completely. Thanks for helping keep up the pressure.
by johnalive 2007-03-07 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: More Opaque Arrogance from Harry Reid and Tom

Congratulations Matt.  I thought you were wrong in attacking the Nevada Democratic Party and you would just weaken us.  Turns out, I was wrong.  We are stronger for this.

by syvanen 2007-03-07 10:59AM | 0 recs
I think Collins' move is great news

For him, it is a disastrous move that makes the NDP look incompetent, but it will have the benefit of dragging this out for another week and providing more opportunities for exposing Fox.

With Edwards coming around, how far behind are candidates not named Hillary? This is forcing a great debate within the Democratic Party and provides a clear issue to judge whether candidates and campaigns "get it" when it comes to understanding the media.

I suggest a formal picket line. Change the discussion from "who is skipping?" to "who is crossing the picket line?"

Are you with us or against us...let's find out who would cross the line.

by Bob Brigham 2007-03-07 10:59AM | 0 recs
Re: I think Collins' move is great news

Love the picket line/protest idea.

by johnalive 2007-03-07 11:06AM | 0 recs
Re: I think Collins' move is great news

It shifts the burden, the obligation. Our side deserves the presumption.

by Bob Brigham 2007-03-07 11:26AM | 0 recs
Re: I think Collins' move is great news

I can name at least one candidate who would join us on the picket line, just like he has in the past.

by Vox Populi 2007-03-07 11:49AM | 0 recs
Agree 100% -- This Is Now A Plus For Us

I think the dynamic has definitely shifted.  This is now about the growing power of grassroots/netroots Dems, and plain ole common sense.  The longer this goes on, the better it is for us.

I'm now hoping it drags out all the way until August.

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-03-07 04:18PM | 0 recs
Power of the People

Can they feel it?

by jasmine 2007-03-07 11:04AM | 0 recs
Curiouser and Curiouser - not

HERE'S your next Murdoch DOT!!!

Harold Ford betrays Democrats, joins Faux News /7/154253/2047

by SandThroughTheEyeGlass 2007-03-07 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Curiouser and Curiouser - not

Is Wesley Clark also a traitor?

by Steve M 2007-03-07 12:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Curiouser and Curiouser - not

What the hell are you talking about ... ?

I bring up a wing-nut Hillary suck up to Hillary's butt DLC republican and you DARE compare him to Wesley Clark, even mention him in the same post... disgraceful..

by SandThroughTheEyeGlass 2007-03-07 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Curiouser and Curiouser - not
He's talking about Clark's hiring by Fox News as an analyst. Before you get indignant, it might be worth checking you have a leg to stand on.
by Englishlefty 2007-03-07 01:23PM | 0 recs
Clark - Military Contr. Harold Ford - HRC Butt Boy

I know exactly what he was getting at... My reply stands...

by SandThroughTheEyeGlass 2007-03-07 01:36PM | 0 recs
This Is Soooo Good!

Every chance we have to organize against the dunderhead Dem leadership is a gift.

Every time this happens, more and more folks wake up.

The wheels have fallen off.  The only question now is whether they keep on skidding till they go over the cliff? Or until they hit the wall?

Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets....

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-03-07 04:23PM | 0 recs
Re: More Opaque Arrogance from Harry Reid and Tom

by Paul Rosenberg 2007-03-07 04:24PM | 0 recs
by thierryi 2007-06-15 02:10AM | 0 recs


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