Joyner calls out missing GOP candidates at debate.

At the beginning of last night’s PBS Republican presidential forum, radio host Tom Joyner introduced the event by poking fun at the four frontrunners who had decided to skip the event, saying “hello to those of you viewing from home.” The audience erupted into cheers at the jab. Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/09/JoynerPBS.320.240.flv]

Yesterday on CNN, PBS’s Tavis Smiley sharply criticized the snub by the four candidates — Giuliani, McCain, Romney, and Thompson — stating that they were “trying to go through this entire primary process and never have to address voters of color and never queried journalists of color.” Last night was the third minority-focused debate in which the Republican front runners refused to participate. They also skipped a debate on gay issues and a Spanish-language debate.