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Citing Fox News’ Demand That CNN Include All Serious Candidates In Debates, Karger To Release News Corp Letter

By Lee Fang  

"Citing Fox News’ Demand That CNN Include All Serious Candidates In Debates, Karger To Release News Corp Letter"

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ThinkProgress filed this report from Los Angeles, California.

Even Fox News says it is a "scandal" for major networks to exclude candidates from presidential debates

Longtime Republican consultant Fred Karger, an openly gay contender for the GOP presidential nomination, was denied an opportunity to appear in Fox News’ debate last month despite the fact he met Fox’s standard for qualification. And even though it does not look likely that Fox will include him in its next presidential debate, Karger won’t be pushed to the side without a fight.

As ThinkProgress reported, Fox News host Neil Cavuto went on a rant two weeks ago, claiming that one of the biggest scandals of the year has been the media exclusion of serious candidates from major debates. Cavuto’s screed, aimed at rival network CNN, seemed to contradict his employer’s conduct of denying candidates like former Gov. Buddy Roemer (R-LA) and Karger a spot in its own debate programs.

Last weekend at the California Republican Party convention, Karger told ThinkProgress that he was aware of Cavuto’s statements, and that he will be releasing a letter today to Fox parent company News Corp to demand inclusion in the Fox News/Google debate hosted later this week:

KARGER: Well I’m sending a letter out, funny you should ask, on Monday again to Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes. I filed a complaint against Fox News, the executives, because they excluded me from their debate even though I qualified for it. So, I’m asking again, I have two new polls that are out showing me at 1 percent, which is their threshold they’ve been using in their other two debates. So I hope to get in and Neil Cavuto is great. I’m hoping other courageous cable broadcasters will speak out against this. There are four of us. I’m calling us the four musketeers: Thaddeus McCotter, sitting member of Congress, two former governors, Buddy Roemer of Louisiana, Gary Johnson of New Mexico, and myself. We’re all very close in the polls to Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and others who are included in the debate. I’m saying open it up, have all 12 of us in. You’ll have diverse opinions, which is what you want to have in a debate.

Watch it:

Click more for an extended transcript:

KARGER: Well I’m sending a letter out, funny you should ask, on Monday again to Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes. I filed a complaint against Fox News, the executives, because they excluded me from their debate even though I qualified for it. So, I’m asking again, I have two new polls that are out showing me at 1 percent, which is their threshold they’ve been using in their other two debates. So I hope to get in and Neil Cavuto is great. I’m hoping other courageous cable broadcasters will speak out against this. There are four of us. I’m calling us the four musketeers: Thaddeus McCotter, sitting member of Congress, two former governors, Buddy Roemer of Louisiana, Gary Johnson of New Mexico, and myself. We’re all very close in the polls to Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and others who are included in the debate. I’m saying open it up, have all twelve of us in. You’ll have diverse opinions, which is what you want to have in a debate. They shouldn’t be eight clones. So I’m hopeful that one of these debates, that some fair and open sponsoring network will allow us into them. Its important that the American public gets a good look at all 12 serious candidates.

FANG: Have you talked to any Fox News executives or producers about this issue? I mean it is kind of crazy that you would meet the threshold, and Neil Cavuto would go on a two minute rant about how CNN wouldn’t allow you guys on stage.

KARGER: I have not talked to any. I was interviewed by Carl Cameron who is their political director at Iowa State University, which is where the debate was held and I was being excluded from and he wanted to interview me. And have me talk about my exclusion. So I was treated very fairly by – and he’s the political director for Fox News – we had a wonderful interview there. You know I appealed to Murdoch and Ailes, and they didn’t respond so I filed a one hundred and fifty two complaints with the Federal Election Commission that my attorney helped craft.

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