Monday, February 26, 2007

"Two steps forward, one step back"

The best thing Barack Obama may have done this young primary season was to freeze out Fox News after their "Madrassas" smear of him. I don't know if he's still cutting them off, but fact is, he sent an unmistakable message -- he'll only deal with legitimate news operations, and Fox News ain't one of them.
This was a huge step forward. Fox News is unabashedly movement oriented -- focused on promoting Republicans at the expense of Democrats. Every decision they make, from top to bottom, is predicated on that very simply mission.
But I suppose politics is about measuring baby steps. And the Nevada Democratic Party's decision to give Fox News rights to one of our field's debates sets back much of our hard work.

Would Republicans hold a debate on Air America? Would they live blog on Daily Kos? Only if they were idiots. But apparently, that very simple notion eludes our top Democrats.

And not just in Nevada. Howard Dean has endorsed the effort as a way to, um, let Fox News talking heads make fun of Democrats to a large audience:

But the Nevada party organizers -- and Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean -- said Thursday that while they may not think much of Fox's reporting, they want to reach out to viewers of the largest cable news network, one with double the number of prime-time viewers of CNN. And one whose believability is much higher with Republicans than Democrats, according to a 2005 study by the Project for Excellence in Journalism.
Howard Dean has forgotten his own battles with Fox, and is now eagerly helping legitimize the right-wing's smear machine. Perhaps there's a limit to how long one spends in DC before they lose common sense.

So it comes down to the candidates.

The second- and third-tier candidates are desperate for any exposure, and won't turn down the debate. But a couple of the top-tier candidates have complained about the heavy debate schedule. So once again, here's a chance to clear up some of that calendar for more productive endeavors.

Skipping this debate will have a second positive effect -- gratitude from lots like me who don't appreciate Democrats bolstering the enemy's smear propaganda machine.
Cross-posted at

No comments: