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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

See How They Run: Democratic Candidates Won't Debate on Fox

Rumor has it that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (photo)are joining John Edwards in a boycott against Fox News in that network's upcoming debate, according to the Huffington Post. The candidates argue that Fox News is too biased and anti-Democrat and they don't want to legitimize its views by participating in the forum. I first learned about Edwards' decision about a week ago and was some what offended by the idea. However, the more I think about it, I have to respect all of these candidates for sticking to their convictions, regardless of how wrong those beliefs may be.

If conservative candidates had done the same thing to CNN many years ago, the media would not be nearly as polarized as it is today, in my opinion. Americans couldn't expect the Democrats to boycott that network 20 years ago, it was the Republicans who were getting abused. They obediently took their regular beatings rather than holding the network accountable. These leading Democrats are doing just that when it comes to Fox.

There is, however, a difference in my opinion. I honestly don't believe that Fox's treatment of the news is biased. The editorial departments clearly lean to the Right, but the news itself really is fair and balanced. A typical Fox story will point out truths that neither side wants to hear. In my memory Fox has also been fair in its treatment of candidates during debates, which weakens the arguments of these Democrats about whether they should participate.

With these leading Democrats firing this salvo, the question is, how should Fox respond? If I were in charge I would move full speed ahead towards having a debate among the Democrats willing to participate. This would do several things:

* It would likely cause one or two of these major candidates to blink. The thought of one of their opponents -- even a minor one -- getting that kind of uninterrupted exposure, would be more than they can handle.

* The majority of Fox viewers consider themselves independent, a more moderate Democrat could have an excellent opportunity to pick up some key votes. Hillary Clinton has heavily marketed herself as such a Democrat and would be the must likely to suffer from such a boycott.

* I believe this could possibly move the Democratic party towards the much neglected center. Candidates who are largely ignored by the media whose agenda is established by the Democratic party (most media, in my opinion) would have an opportunity to voice their views to an audience that hasn't heard such perspectives.

* It would put the power of the candidates at check. If Fox News doesn't budge, these candidates likely will. Those candidates who don't will likely regret it later.

There are checks and balances for every branch of government. Although I disagree with the Democrats about the network they want to boycott, I'm impressed that they are holding this "fourth branch" of government accountable.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Chris Joseph said...

Wow, are pigs flying or did hell freeze over? You actually had a nice thing to say about Democrats?

8:53 AM  

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