UPDATE: The CBC Institute is planning two debates, and one of them may still be with Fox, so keep the pressure on.
Last week, the American Prospect reported that the Congressional Black Caucus Institute was close to nearing a deal to host two Democratic presidential primary debates in concert with Fox News:
[T]he Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute plans to announce two debates in concert with Fox News, according to a source familiar with the negotiations, which have apparently been going on for weeks. …
“Both CNN and Fox have presented the Institute with two great proposals and at some point in the coming days we will be making an announcement,” she said Candice Tolliver, a consultant working with the CBC Institute on the debates, adding that the Institute’s plans are not final.
Black online activists — led by ColorOfChange.org — partnered with Robert Greenwald’s Fox Attacks to call on the CBC Institute to reject Fox as a partner for their presidential debates. A letter from Color Of Change to activists:
“Fox News is not a ‘fair and balanced’ source of information or political debate, and it has repeatedly proven itself hostile to the interests of Black Americans… Fox on-air personalities and regular guests consistently marginalize Black leaders, culture, and institutions.”
The efforts appear to have paid off. A new release from CNN says it “will partner with the Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute (CBC Institute) to host a presidential debate among Democratic candidates.”
Uh oh. Cue in another Fox News hissy fit. Except that the Fox crowd has already unloaded their heaviest artillery on us. We’ve already been called Stalinist and Nazies. What’s left? They should’ve paced themselves.
Read the full statement:
CNN Joins Congressional Black Caucus for Democratic Debate in South Carolina
CNN will partner with the Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute (CBC Institute) to host a presidential debate among Democratic candidates in South Carolina on Jan. 24, 2008.
Anchor Wolf Blitzer will moderate the Democratic debate. CNN correspondent Joe Johns and White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux will serve as panelists to question candidates participating in the debate.
“CNN is pleased to join with the CBC Institute in spotlighting this important primary race,” said Jon Klein, president of CNN/U.S. “This debate provides a meaningful addition to our comprehensive coverage of the 2008 presidential election, particularly as it gives us an opportunity to explore more closely a range of issues that will impact the pivotal African-American vote.”
“Our goal with the debate is to provide a platform that will allow voters to hear the positions of candidates, from both political parties, on the critical issues facing our nation,” said CBC Institute Board Chairman and U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) “Every voter deserves an opportunity to evaluate the candidates. Collaborating with CNN provides unprecedented viewership and allows us to take the 2008 presidential election to homes across America.”
“I am thrilled that the CBC Institute and CNN will host a debate in my home state of South Carolina,” said U.S. Rep. and House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) “It is my strong belief that this debate, leading to the first-in-the-South primaries, will be the definitive forum for America as we choose our next president.”
Information on exact times and other details of this debate as well as a CNN/CBC Institute-sponsored Republican presidential debate will be forthcoming.
The Presidential Debate Program is one of several initiatives sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus Political Education and Leadership Institute, a nonprofit organization designed to train and educate African Americans and others on key issues of national policy. In this regard, the CBC Institute also commissions policy research, holds conferences and symposia, and conducts a political education and campaign training program. Founded in 2000, the CBC Institute is governed by a board of directors comprised of individuals from academia, business, labor, policy analysis, and elective office including members of the Congressional Black Caucus. Its activities are undertaken on a non-partisan basis.
CNN Worldwide, a division of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner Company, is one of the world’s most respected and trusted sources for news and information. Its reach extends to nine cable and satellite television networks; one private place-based network; two radio networks; wireless devices around the world; four Web sites, including CNN.com, the first major news and information Web site; CNN Pipeline, CNN.com’s premium live video news service; CNN Newsource, the world’s most extensively syndicated news service; and partnerships for four television networks and two Web sites.