Well, that didn't take long did it? In its own best traditions, the Nevada Democratic Party folded
and has formally cancelled the presidential candidates' debate it had scheduled in Reno this coming August.
The Nevada Dems backed down after a feverish web campaign by the Kossacks who were outraged that the debate, which was to be broadcast in partnership with Fox, would somehow "legitimate" the right-wing FNC as a bona fide news channel.
A perfectly ridiculous ending to a perfectly ridiculous crusade.
When I first wrote about this
a few weeks ago I expressed my broader view of this web-based wanking. I will re-iterate this much: it's an absurd game to try and separate legit from non-legit news organizations, unless you somehow believe Katie Couric is a news gatherer.
What does count is that a couple of million mostly non-Democratic viewers watch Fox everyday and instead of being exposed to two hours of arguments by leading Democrats next August 14th, they can watch Sean Hannity some more.
I mean, Democrats wouldn't want to talk to them
, would they?
All this hullabaloo over Fox is one more confirmation to me that too many pwogessive Democrats are more comfortable massaging each other in their own bubble than doing the hard work of winning new recruits.
Ah sure, I know the counter-argument. "You can't trust those wingers at Fox," we were told. "They'll load up the broadcast with disparaging commentators. And Roger Ailes joked that Obama was a terrorist."
I suppose if the Nevada Dems had stuck to their guns they would have been able to finely negotiate the on-air environment to be provided by Fox. And, what if they didn't? I thought the Democratic candidates were running to be President of the United States. Shouldn't someone who ought to be president be capable of presenting arguments strong enough to stand up against some yapping Foxista?
I think so.
So here's the bottom line, the net effect of the debate getting scrubbed:
Some millions of conservatives who would have been force-fed a prime-time chunk of Democratic campaigning will now be spared that exposure.
And those who most benefit from this turn of events are the candidates with the most money and the greatest name recognition. If it were up to them, there would be no debates. In this case, the ill-named "net roots" have only contributed to making the nomination process slightly less competitive.
As my readers know, I don't think the candidacy of Dennis Kucinich is destined to go anywhere. But I think his reaction
to the phony battle is right on the money. Having lost one of the few shots he will have at a national audience, Kucinich accused his rivals of preferring to "run and hide."
"If you want to be the President of the United States, you can't be afraid to deal with people with whom you disagree politically," Kucinich said. "No one is further removed from Fox's political philosophy than I am, but fear should not dictate decisions that affect hundreds of millions of
Americans and billions of others around the world who are starving for real leadership."
Kucinich said, "the public deserves honest, open, and fair public debate, and the media have a responsibility to demand that candidates come forward now, before the next war vote in Congress, to explain themselves."
"I'm prepared to discuss the war, health care, trade, or any other issue anytime, anywhere, with any audience, answering any question from any media. And any candidate who won't shouldn't be President of the United States."
I can't disagree with a single word of that.