More Opaque Arrogance from Harry Reid and Tom Collins
by Matt Stoller, Wed Mar 07, 2007 at 10:11:34 AM EST
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)