Yesterday we learned that ABC News and its New Hampshire affiliate, WMUR-TV — once referred to as WGOP — have on their own decided that some party-endorsed candidates will not be able to participate in the next New Hampshire primary debate.
I believe that this is a serious breach of the tradition in New Hampshire of giving all candidates a level playing field — and that means giving all party-sanctioned candidates the opportunity to participate in primary debates.
The nature of this decision is troubling at another level: who runs our political process? The voters and their political parties? Or the mass media, specifically television stations and networks?
I call upon all voters to protest this decision by calling the WMUR-TV newsroom at 1-800-257-5151. Perhaps this time it is not your candidate who is getting booted off the stage — but what about the next time?
More importantly, I am asking the front-runners in the New Hampshire Democratic primary — Hillary, Obama, Edwards — to show their support for fundamental fairness in the primary process by refusing to participate in the debate unless ABC News and WMUR-TV allow ALL CANDIDATES to debate.
I am also asking Ray Buckley, chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party to forcefully, unequivocally demand that ABC News and WMUR back off from their decision. Furthermore, Buckley should be actively involved in getting the three major front-runners to agree not to debate in New Hampshire until this media bullying has been stopped.
New Hampshire’s Republicans already have taken a stand against FOX News which threatened to limit participation by GOP candidates.
Let’s see who the real American heroes are in this field of Democrats.