Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Union Leaders Think Fox News Debate is a Good Idea

The Nevada Scandalmonger over at Vote Gibbons Out has gotten on the Union's e-mailing list and what a gem they send him:

Nevada Labor Leaders Speak Out on Fox Debate:
Labor Leaders Support Reaching Out to Nevada’s Diverse Voters

Las Vegas, Nevada (February 26, 2007) - Today, Nevada labor leaders called on local and national organizations that have been critical of the August Democratic Presidential candidate debate to be aired on Fox News. The labor leaders pointed out that Nevada was awarded an early caucus because of its diverse population and that reaching out to this population will require a wide range of voices and messages.

Danny Thompson, leader of the Nevada State AFL-CIO, noted, “When the DNC approved Nevada’s new position, we were chosen because we would be a state that would highlight populations and issues not given fair representation in the previous nominating calendar. We are excited that issues Nevada and the West face will be highlighted and want as broad an audience as possible to receive this message. We think it will be refreshing to have FOX News have to broadcast a discussion of the characteristics that distinguish Nevada, including a growing labor movement.”

D. Taylor, Secretary–Treasurer of the 60,000-member Culinary Union called on those who have focused on Fox to look at the larger political picture. “Nevada was chosen as an early caucus state because of its diversity. Our members are diverse, the State’s voters are diverse. There is no purity in newscasts. We can all find flaws with each channel. What we know is that FOX is the most-watched newscast and that it will be a positive thing for the people who watch FOX’s newscast to have exposure to the issues and voices that will be participating in the Nevada presidential caucus. When we limit ourselves to only those that we agree with, everybody loses.”

Rusty McAllister, president of the Professional Firefighters of Nevada, noted that, “Many of us who will be participating in the presidential caucus process represent constituencies with a wide range of beliefs. We want all of our members to receive information about the candidates and their platforms. It is a step forward for Nevada if we have all networks, including FOX, addressing the issues that make our State unique.”

What do you say? I mean, what could you? I'll give you the Scandalmonger's response first before I weigh in:

Woah. When Harry calls out the big guns, he really calls them out. And they read the talking points pretty good, don't they? Same ones I've been reading over and over the last few days. Except for this one: No channels are pure. Sure, but some are really much more impure when it comes to bashing progressives and unions. Guys, you better hope that the deal Collins presumably worked out with Fox doesn't turn into a Bash the Democrats muckfest. Otherwise, we'll know who to blame if the Democrats lose another presidential run.

Sure do. Should this debate really take place and it will actually turn out like the last time in 2004 there are quite a few people who seem to be willing to share the blame.

But let's take a little closer look at this piece of work:

Nevada Labor Leaders Speak Out on Fox Debate:
Labor Leaders Support Reaching Out to Nevada’s Diverse Voters

Yeah, you do have to read that several times. It's that incredulous. There are several ways to actually take this "reasoning" apart:

  1. "Diverse Voters" - What exactly constitutes diverse voters? When Sen. Reid argued for adding the Nevada Caucus to the early primary states he did so on the basis that Nevada is not an all white state without much union representation like say New Hampshire or Iowa. He was pretty adament about the fact that Nevada had a large number of minorities, including roughly 20% Hispanics, 6% African American and 5% Asian American. Also, Nevada has a significant union representation, largely due to the Casino and tourism sectors. He argued this himself in an interview with Jonathan Singer on MyDD and this is what you could read from coast to coast in newspaper reports (LVRJ, Chicago Tribune).
  2. Diversity and Fox News - Could any channel be less diverse than Fox News? All the shows that Fox News is famous for are done by white guys (and a few women) and, no, Michelle Malkin does not make Fox News more diverse.
  3. Diversity on Fox News - Now, honest to God, since when do any of the talking heads on Fox News represent diverse views, diverse values or diverse voters for that matter? Tell me, please! I'd like to figure this one out.
  4. Fox News and the West - From all of the statements defending the Fox News debate I come away with a feeling that their is some idiotic bias at work. Westerners like their guns, many westerners live in the rurals, so westerners watch Fox News. If we want to reach those voters then we need to go on Fox News. Now, I've lived in the West and I know quite a few of those westerers. Thing is, it's not like they all watch Fox News. However, if they do, it's likely that they label Hillary a communist and will soon do the same with Obama if the framing taking place on Fox News (and the right wing radio talk shows) continues. What I absolutely do not get is why it is impossible to reach out to the local ABC, NBC or CBS affiliates in Reno and Las Vegas and let them host a debate? Cause after all most people still get their news from watching local stations. Reaching a new audience by going on Fox News is not the answer.
  5. Mr. Thompson, Mr. Taylor, Mr. McAllister: what good has been said on Fox News about unions and union interests? How many instances have there been when the unions have been shown in a good light on Fox News? Just wondering.

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