Monday, August 07, 2006

NY1 Silences Debate

Since I'm on the topic of voting tonight, I meant to post FAIR's piece on the NY Senate race. This is what's wrong with the way we elect our candidates.
There is a heated debate among Democrats about the direction of the party, with centrist party stalwarts facing challenges from the left on issues like the Iraq War. But New York City voters will have a more difficult time seeing this debate play out, as New York City cable news channel NY1 (which is owned by Time Warner) has blocked the anti-war Democratic challenger Jonathan Tasini from a primary race debate against incumbent Sen. Hillary Clinton.

In a statement (Village Voice, 8/2/06), the channel said it had "established criteria to identify which candidates would be invited to participate" in the debates: poll at least 5 percent and have spent and/or raised $500,000.

In a recent Marist poll (7/19/06), Tasini stood at 13 percent, but his campaign has only raised $150,000.
Candidates should not have to be required to spend a certain amount of money in order to be allowed air time in public debates. Tasini is a viable contender and the voters lose when they're a denied a chance to hear an alternate view. It's time to bring back the Fairness Doctrine.

In the meantime you can call or email the station and express your outrage at their criteria:

Robert Hardt
NY1, Director of Politics
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Blogger Kathy said...

I can't help but wonder if they established their criteria in part because Tasini is a big labor and union advocate.

1:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Libby said...

I wouldn't be surprised if that was a factor Kathy but basically I think the media just want to preserve the status quo. If new people get elected, all the payoffs they made to the incumbents will be wasted.

3:23:00 PM  

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