Tuesday, October 17, 2006

CT Senate Debate On TV: Not Live, And No Local Media Allowed

courant.com | Senate Debate On TV: Not Live, And No Local Media Allowed: "Senate Debate On TV: Not Live, And No Local Media Allowed

When WFSB-TV, Channel 3, announced plans to sponsor the only debate of all five candidates in Connecticut's nationally watched Senate race, station general manager Klarn DePalma said the event reflects 'our commitment ... to deliver news and information to viewers in Connecticut.'

But it appears that the delivery is going to be delayed.

The Hartford CBS affiliate has banned representatives of the news media - other than its own - from Wednesday's 3 p.m. taping of the debate that is to be moderated by national CBS newsman Bob Schieffer before an audience of specially invited guests at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts.

After a news blackout of 27 hours, WFSB plans to show the canned one-hour event Thursday at 7 p.m.

'We're renting the hall, it's our debate, and we'll invite who we want to invite' - that was Channel 3's position, as paraphrased by Richard Foley, campaign manager for Republican candidate Alan Schlesinger. Polls show Schlesinger running a distant third in the race, and so, Foley said, 'we feel that we cannot make too many demands.'
The statement that this is 'our debate' is crazy.

Shame, shame, shame on WFSB-TV. Same to for any candidate that doesn't raise red flags while on the debate stage about the terms of the event.

Folks, our democracy is frail. We can't let junk like this onto our shared landscape.

Check out what they are doing in MN for the Governor's race. An on-going, on-line debate among all participants is a treasure to witness and makes a model that many others need to repeat in the election cycles to come.

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