On a conference call today, Howard Wolfson of the Clinton campaign has said that Hillary Clinton will appear in a Fox News debate on February 11 in Washington, DC.
In a joint letter faxed today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Tom Collins, the head of the Nevada Democratic Party, informed Fox News executive producer Marty Ryan of the decision.
"A month ago, the Nevada Democratic Party entered into a good faith agreement with FOX News to co-sponsor a presidential debate in August,'' Reid and Collins said in the letter. "This was done because the Nevada Democratic Party is reaching out to new voters and we strongly believe that a Democrat will not win Nevada unless we find new ways to talk to new people. To say the least, this was not a popular decision. But it is one that the Democratic Party stood by.''
"However, comments made last night by FOX News President Roger Ailes in reference to one of our presidential candidates went too far,'' the letter went on. "We cannot, as good Democrats, put our party in a position to defend such comments. In light of his comments, we have concluded that it is not possible to hold a Presidential debate that will focus on our candidates and are therefore canceling our August debate. We take no pleasure in this, but it is the only course of action.''
I asked Wolfson if this puts Obama in an awkward position considering how awful Ailes' comments were, and especially in light of Reid's decision. Wolfson defended the choice to accept the Fox debate because Obama has appeared on Fox News himself recently. Which is true, he has, but it doesn't excuse how many awful lies and distortions Fox has peddled in order to damage Obama, Clinton and Democrats in general.
Fox is not a news outlet, it's an openly partisan opinion factory and the Democrats should not be legitimizing them (and allowing them to recruit Democratic viewers to propagandize to) by doing this.
Jane Hamsher blogs at firedoglake.com