Tuesday, October 17, 2006

This Cannot Stand -- Local Media Can't Cover Debate

This from the Hartford Courant this AM, regarding the next Senate debate:
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."

He noted that the full day's delay would enable any candidate who had "a Gerald Ford moment" - a reference to Ford's notorious 1976 misstatement that Poland was not Soviet-dominated - to cook up a face-saving explanation even before his gaffe goes on the air Thursday. "You could be un-spinning it ... before you even spin it."
I am available and was planning to cover the debate. Time to let WFSB know what you think of their ban on local media:
Here you can e-mail questions for the debate
The contact page for the station


Mr Ed said...

Time to get back to debates run by the League of Woman Voters. This is nothing more than a made for TV "news" event.

harriet said...

Kirby, this is more evidence of how Corporations are no longer allowing "the people" to be part of government! If people don't start waking up the next thing taken away will be OUR vote -- oh wait, isn't that the idea behind Diebold?


Dr. Bloor said...

Is there any way to get Schieffer in on this? I doubt he'd approve of moderating a debate reduced to the equivalent of "Bowling for Dollars" by some tinhorn local affiliates.

Anonymous said...

Mr Ed has it right.

what is the precedent for this -- i.e. how to other stations that pay the way handle it?

I don't think they will run ads so unless this sets up the lead-in to another program, what do they get out of this dollar wise? Is it just a news prestige thing?

Looking from their point of view, they don't want to have the experience of running what effectively will be old news and being scooped by media outlets/blogs that didn't finance it. Their image is "can't keep up with the news" then.

I see their point - I am disappointed - don't know if there are other stations that treat it differently.

I think having it paid for by another group is preferable.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing how people have reacted towards Ch. 3, particularily the other local media. When Wtnh ch 8. held the Courtney-Simmons debate in New London last month, they denied all media access and told local media that they would need to get a ticket in order to attend. While I am not certain if they had the same policy towards the Gov. debate, it appears Ch. 3 is getting all the scrutiny. Makes Mark Davis' comments all the more hypocritical.