May 27, 2007

Democratic Divide On Fox

The Democrats still have a Fox problem. They want to beat the network down as a "propaganda" outlet despite its #1 rating for prime-time news, and despite the connections that several prominent Democrats have forged with the network to broaden their appeal to middle America:

Four years ago, the leaders of the Congressional Black Caucus began looking for a television outlet to co-sponsor and broadcast a presidential debate to address the concerns of minority voters.

Only one news channel made an acceptable proposal, and an unlikely channel at that: Fox News, in what some Democrats viewed as an effort to associate itself with a group that could help it make good on its claim of presenting “fair and balanced” news coverage.

But now that relationship is being shaken by the decision of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, and former Senator John Edwards of North Carolina to shun the debate, a move that has exposed fault lines among two major constituencies of the Democratic Party. While the withdrawal by the candidates frustrated members of the black caucus, it mollified liberals who had objected to the involvement of Fox News, whose programming includes some of the most conservative and pro-Republican commentary on the air.

The sensitivities surrounding the issue were evident this week when a spokeswoman for Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, said Mr. Richardson would not participate in the debate, which is scheduled for September. But only a few hours later, the spokeswoman phoned the reporter to say that she had misspoken, and that Mr. Richardson had yet to decide. In the interim the reporter had sought a response from the caucus on Mr. Richardson’s apparent withdrawal.

Howard Dean notoriously referred to FNC as a "propaganda outlet," which must have surprised the Congressional Black Caucus. They want to establish themselves as a power player in the effort to get minority voters to the polls, and they won a rather impressive coup in getting the most popular news network to partner with them in that effort. Not only did Dean make them look like fools, the Democratic Party chairman likely drove off the very viewers they hoped to attract with the debate series -- African-American voters.

But the CBC isn't the only Democratic entity with ties to the supposed "propaganda outlet". Hillary and Bill Clinton have ties to the network in its effort to broaden minority representation in television ratings systems. Fox hired a consulting firm with "strong" connection to the Clintons for that project; it belongs to Howard Wolfson, who is currently Hillary's communication director. Rupert Murdoch, Howard Dean's bete noir, has also done fundraising for Hillary in her re-election campaign to the Senate.

Typically, this made no difference to Hillary when the debate topic came up. Anxious to score pooints among the anti-war left, Hillary renounced Fox and bailed out of the debate, along with the less-well-connected Barack Obama and John Edwards. Not exactly a Profile in Courage, and now she has left the CBC in a position where it will have almost no impact on the primaries.

In the end, of course, it shows a massive inferiority complex on the part of the Democrats. The terms of the Fox deal were especially generous; Fox would pick up almost all of the production costs, and in return, the CBC could pick the moderators and control the format. That means that the questions would have been outside of Fox's control, which negates the entire "propaganda" argument, even if it wasn't a ludricrous slander. The Democrats could have had a free ride in front of Fox's audience, a gift that would have allowed them access to moderates and centrists.

Instead, they ran away, and continue to run away, even while the CBC reminds them of the chance they're missing. Once again, I have to ask why America should trust Hillary, Obama, and Edwards to stand up to terrorists and dictators when they run like frightened children from Fox News.


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Comments (12)

Posted by Bitter Pill | May 27, 2007 10:36 AM

Please. Does the lack of courage and character from these three really surprise anyone?

I mean, even liberals expect this from their leaders. This type of cowardice is almost a requirement to be a democratic frontrunner these days.

Posted by jpe | May 27, 2007 1:08 PM

That means that the questions would have been outside of Fox's control, which negates the entire "propaganda" argument, even if it wasn't a ludricrous slander.

I think you mean "even if it weren't a ludicrous slander.

*takes off grammar police badge*

The point of all this is to avoid supporting the silly claim that Fox is unbiased. The event itself may be well-moderated, but it would give FNC the ability to say things like, "Even the Dem candidates thought we were objective enough to host their debate."

Posted by RKV | May 27, 2007 2:01 PM

After Dan Rather and his co-conspirators at CBS attempted to deliver an election year October surprise, is there ANY DOUBT that CBS is a media arm of the Democratic Party? That the DemocRATic Party doesn't like competition is transparently obvious. That said, criticism of Fox is clearly partisan in nature, and therefore to be discounted completely.

Posted by Bitter Pill | May 27, 2007 2:21 PM

LOL. In jpe's warped little world, anything not fully supporting the libtard position is biased to the right.

Fair and balanced is, well, naturally biased as it doesn't kiss up to the libtard agenda.

What's the diff, jippee, between a debated moderated by lefty shills in the MSM? That's ok for you, right?

Ignorant little hippocrat.

Posted by Lew | May 27, 2007 3:08 PM

The great fraud perpetrated upon all of us is, and always has been, the brain-dead notion that "news" is neutral. News has never been neutral and never will be; get over it!

"News" is composed of bits of reality (at best!) selected for their saleability and their utility in filling in a general scheme previously determined. William Randolph Hearst would feel just as comfortable in any newsroom in the world today as he did a hundred years ago.

News always lacks context and will therefore always be something less than true. News is at best factual, but hardly ever the truth. News will always be just someone else's look through the soda straw, and in some cases through a kaleidescope!

If you want to know what's going on, ask the people themselves. In this case, ask the troops in Iraq. Ask as many as you can and try to distill the sum of what they say into some kind of general picture. Failing that, snuggle up to your ignorance and get to like it, because the "news" isn't going to give you much to work with of any real utility.

The folks slapping Fox News and CBS around aren't really saying much about Fox or CBS, as much as they're making statements about themselves and what they want to hear. The politicians trying their cheap intimidation tactics are screaming their own fear from the rooftops. I'm afraid we'd all do well to lower our expectations where the "News" is concerned.

Have a nice day!

Posted by jpe | May 27, 2007 3:26 PM

Ignorant little hippocrat.

Is that related to the hippocratic oath?

Posted by Bitter Pill | May 27, 2007 5:35 PM

LOL. It doesn't pay to type while tired.

Still doesn't change your double standard, though. If you think Fox is right biased, you're just parroting Kos talking points.

But we already knew that.

Posted by Barnestormer | May 27, 2007 8:10 PM

Guess that means my amusement over "hippocrat" (a standard issue, hippocritical Democrat) was misplaced.

Posted by Joe | May 27, 2007 11:43 PM

C'mon captain, we've been over this dozens of time, Fox News is the same "news" organization that Pravda was in the old Soviet Union. Brit Hume is their bureau chief in DC, he's a raving neo-con nut. Hannitty is even further to the right if thats possible. Roger Ailes "runs" their news division, formerly he was a Republican media hack, puh-lease, Fox IS AND WILL ALWAYS BE THE PROPAGANDA ARM OF THE NEO-CON MOVEMENT. Throw that bong away captain and come back to earth. Fox is an enemy of the Democratic Party, plain and simple. Didn't watch their election coverage back in November but my friends said it was like a morgue on the set.

Posted by Carol Herman | May 28, 2007 1:46 PM

Way too many midgets! And, so far from really anything truthful, that the singular debating point won, was by Guiliani. Who reamed out Paul Ron. Or Ron Paul. (How did this guy end up with a name so closely associated with gay porn, I have no idea.)

But so far? NONE OF THE DEBATES has done a thing and warming up the hearts of Americans.

That's why Fred Thompson still has a chance. Ah. Probably more than just a "chance." While I wouldn't give ya a fiddler's fart for McCain; who lost his luster.

Is that what "debates" are supposed to do?

Just to give you a wake up call. There were debates in 1980. Reagan won it. When the senior Bush tried to push some of the "qualifiers" off the stage. And, Reagan said "no." He then added "I paid for the mics."

Memorable moments.

While the real jockeying is for MONEY.

The only reason politicians get out of bed in the morning. IT'S FOR THE MONEY. When they shake your hand? You'll notice them pumping you up and down. Just like you'd do to the handle on a well. To bring up the water.

While I'm sitting here on my limb, absolutely sure it's the donks that EXPLODE; and change. And, Hillary? She'll be one of a hundred, holding onto her seat in the senate. (Well? What if Guiliani loses the coin-toss? What if he's NOT the candidate in '08? Ya think it's possible he'll give Hillary a run for da' money when she has to renew her senate seat?) Come on. I'm not the Oracle at Delphi. I really don't know God's cards.

But given that in 1952 BOTH PARTIES WERE BEGGING IKE to take the helm, means that back then, when it was the "men in the smoke-filled rooms," they didn't want to chance another election cycle with Harry Truman. He won in 1948. But, boy, did he make enemies! Going after MacArthur! They weren't gonna "chance another run."

I'd point out, too, that LBJ skidaddled out of town, in 1968. Of course, THEN, the "back room boys" were in disarray. And, Hubert Humphrey was tasked to run "against Nixon."

Politics sure does bedevil ya. How did a dog like Nixon get to be in the race? Then, again, how did Bush get to personalize the White House with his monogrammed towels?

It's an interesting contest, though.

And, while it makes for cynicism; it also provides entertainment. I'm willing to guess that when 2008 rolls around, though; the donks aren't gonna be led over the cliff by a bunch of dames. If you noticed. Those dames can "fly off the cliff" in Teddy's Oldsmobile. And, yes. A good fight will garner lots of attention.

As to shattered glass ceilings; you wouldn't want to be in a house that has one. Given all the splintered glass that falls to the ground, courtesy of "ye olde gravitational pulls."

Hmm? I wonder if Drudge will be able to name the ticket, before it happens?

Posted by Tom | May 29, 2007 12:37 PM

Wow, that's pretty pathetic, just another prominent Republican blogger who might say something somewhat intelligent once in a while reveals himself to be another hopelessly idiotic zealot apparently stupid enough to believe that Fox news isn't biased.

That is seriously pathetic.

Hume, Gibson, O'Reilly, Cavuto, GOP congressman John Kasich, Paul Gigot, Sean Hannity, Oliver North, David Asman, the Beltway Boys - All Republican programs and hosts.

More than 66% of their political guests are conservatives and Republicans, and it's been proven that their main political correspondent Carl Cameron committed journalistic fraud during the last election for the GOP.

But not so, according to the Right! Alan Colmes has a job! They must be fair and balanced! They criticize Democrats AND Republicans for not being far enough to the Right!

Posted by Wilco | May 30, 2007 9:21 AM

Tom saves his bias indignation for FOX but leaves the impression that CBS, NBC, PBS, et al are not themselves the hammer & sickle of the Democrat Party.

Joe managed to get Internet access inside the institution that he is committed to.