FOX GUARDING THE HENHOUSE?
Note: This post is copied from The Radio Patriot.
Anyone asking the question: How much $$ are the networks contributing to the political campaigns?? And whose political campaigns are getting those contributions?
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. Fox is a unit of News Corp. Both media corporations, owners of major news organizations, donate to political campaigns and candidates. The fact that they CAN and DO contribute to candidates should automatically disqualify them from establishing the rules for political debates. Period.
Debates should be run by an independent organization -- such as the League of Women Voters -- who set the rules and benchmarks that determine a candidate's eligibility to participate in said debates.
Cable news and network news operations should simply be the conduits, NOT the arbiters, moderators or decision makers. A TV outlet may be privately or publicly held, but the airwaves they use are publicly owned by we, the people. They are regulated by the United States government -- in other words, WE THE PEOPLE.
Allowing CNN's Wolf Blitzer and his executive producers or FNC's Brit Hume or ABC's Charles Gibson or ANY news organization to control the message and the messengers doesn't make any sense at all. It's just plain stupid and dangerous for news organizations that claim to be unbiased or, in Fox's case "Fair and Balanced" to have control over something as important as electing a President. Please. It's asking the foxes to guard the henhouse.
Evidently we aren't the only ones who think that letting the TV newsers run the political process is a BAD idea. Steve Elliott of Grassfire.org:
"Andrea, I'm outraged by Fox News Channel and ABC's decision, and I'm urging you to take action with me by calling and emailing each of these news organizations to express your outrage.
Fox News Channel: (212) 301-3000 or (888)-369-4762, send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABC: (212) 456-7777, to send email, go to www.abc.com, scroll to bottom of page and click on "Contact Us"
Again, I am not supporting Paul, Hunter or anyone else at this point. But I think it’s critically important that the media not silence any of the candidates.
It is ironic that Joseph Farah of WorldNet Daily suggests the move "is a very bad decision for a cable news channel whose slogan is 'fair and balanced.'"
Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich thinks this has a foul odor as well:
"Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich filed a complaint with the FCC on Friday after ABC News excluded him, fellow Democrat Mike Gravel and Republican Duncan Hunter from its prime-time debates on Saturday.
Kucinich argued that ABC is violating equal-time provisions by keeping him out of the debate and noted that ABC's parent Walt Disney Co. had contributed to campaigns involving the four Democrats who were invited.
"ABC should not be the first primary," the Ohio congressman said in papers filed at the Federal Communications Commission.
ABC said the candidates left out of the debates failed to meet benchmarks for their support that were outlined to each campaign prior to the Iowa caucus. Kucinich did not complain about these rules ahead of time, said spokeswoman Cathie Levine, who had no further comment since she hasn't seen the FCC filing.
ABC said it believed its rules were inclusive, while also ensuring viewers get a thorough look at the probable next president.
The network set rules to narrow the field. Candidates had to meet at least one of three criteria: place first through fourth in Iowa, poll 5 percent or higher in one of the last four major New Hampshire surveys, or poll 5 percent or higher in one of the last four major national surveys."We're regretful that we're not going to be in it," said Roy Tyler, a spokesman for Hunter. "We're just going to keep working. I think it's a mistake on their part to exclude any viable candidate at this point."
ABC's Republican debate will include Iowa caucus winner Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul. It starts at 7 p.m. EST.
Shortly after that 90-minute forum, Democrats Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Bill Richardson will take the stage at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.
Fox News Channel is sponsoring a debate in its mobile studio Sunday that excludes Paul and Hunter. Huckabee, Giuliani, Romney, Thompson and McCain have been invited."
We're not letting go of this one, folks. Much is at stake. Please avail yourself of the telephone numbers and email addresses you see on this post -- and the ones that follow below -- and GET ACTIVE! It's OUR country. It's OUR election. DON'T let a few in the news operations control the message.