The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has planned a Democratic presidential debate, earmarked for 9/23/07, to be held on the Fox News Channel (FNC). The good news: Joe Biden (D-DE) and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) are in. The bad news: Two other candidates made it official that they do not plan to participate. Bill Richardson (D-NM) and Chris Dodd (D-CT) are the latest to opt out, joining the three candidates widely believed to constitute the top tier in the Democratic race, Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Barack Obama (D-IL) and John Edwards (D-NC). Longshot candidate and former Senator Mike Gravel (D-AK) has not yet said anything one way or the other.
Fox recently held a Republican debate with 10 participants (and at least one more angry about being left off the bill), but the perception that Fox carries a Republican bias is credited with the mass snubbing on the Democratic side. According to the Associated Press, another debate being co-sponsored by CBC is scheduled for early 2008 on CNN. Although it does not appear on the list of DNC-sanctioned events, there have been no announced plans to skip that one.
TVBR observation: Nor are there likely to be. No Democratic candidate can afford to anger such a strong segment of the Democratic base, which underscores just how polarizing FNC has become to the Dems. The boy who cried wolf ran into trouble, but the candidates who cry Fox seem to be getting away with it. At any rate, it will be interesting to see if the 9/23/07 event actually takes place.