I just got a report from someone who stood in line at the New Haven Public Library today to get tickets to the scheduled Linda McMahon-Dick Blumenthal senate debate on October 5th. The debate is sponsored by FoxNews.
My friend said that there were dozens of people waiting for tickets, with the first ten or so people in line known to him as tea partiers or wearing McMahon T-shirts. Each person was allowed four tickets apiece.
Which is fine, except that the library only had a total 50 tickets to give out, and every single ticket went to a GOPer/Tea Party fan. Similar things happened in other towns, such as Middletown (as reported by a local DTC member), where every ticket was grabbed by McMahon supporters.
Apparently the same thing happened with the tickets for the gubernatorial debate between Dan Malloy and Tom Foley, scheduled for the following night. This is acceptable under the rules that the network created.
What isn't acceptable is that the State Democratic Party allowed this debate to be held by a notoriously right-wing news channel, when there are so many much more fair news outlets who could have sponsored it. The very fact that Fox allowed people to grab up to four tickets each (I don't recall ever being allowed more than two tickets for a debate) probably indicates that they knew they only had to have about a dozen people on line at each location to have all the tickets go to Linda McMahon supporters.
And I get the feeling that Fox won't try to rein in the audience if they start getting too vocal in their support of the GOP candidate.
I simply don't understand the decision to allow an important event like this be controlled by a right-wing media group. Trust me, I saw the Alpert-Blumenthal debate; Merrick totally controlled the dialog, despite the crowd being overwhelmingly pro-Blumenthal.
One can only wonder what sort of debacle awaits Dick Blumenthal when confronted by a very media-savvy candidate on what is obviously now her home turf.