Skip to comments.CNN poised to exclude Alan Keyes from Florida debate
Posted on 11/28/2007 10:06:15 AM PST by Kuksool
Monday night at 11 p.m., CNN Political Director Sam Feist e-mailed the Alan Keyes campaign to inform the campaign for the first time that Ambassador Keyes would not be included in the CNN/YouTube/Republican Party of Florida Debate, scheduled for Wednesday evening.
Prior to this notice, the campaign had received no word from the debate's sponsors about their intentions, one way or the other, to include Dr. Keyes, despite several inquires. The most the campaign was able to learn was that the decision was "ultimately up to CNN."
In the meantime, the campaign contacted numerous Florida party, state, and national leaders, encouraging them to ask CNN to include Ambassador Keyes in Wednesday's debate, so that all nine of the presidential candidates selected by the state for its primary ballot might be scrutinized by voters instead of just eight.
To no avail.
For reasons evident below, CNN's decision to exclude Dr. Keyes is obviously arbitrary, unfair, and presumptuous overriding, in essence, the prerogative of the State of Florida to decide which presidential contenders voters have a right to learn about.
The effect of this decision by CNN is far-reaching. Any candidate who does not appear in this nationally-televised debate the last one scheduled before the primaries will have little chance of compensating for the damage done to his campaign in the public mind. Note that Ambassador Keyes has already been excluded from two previous national debates on dubious grounds, and as a result, most people are not even aware he is running for president.
Excluding Dr. Keyes from Wednesday's debate will arguably do irreparable damage to his campaign a result that can hardly have escaped CNN. CNN is playing "gate-keeper," and that is not a legitimate role of the media, no matter how much influence they seek to exert in the political arena.
Read the following exchange, and if you believe an indefensible injustice is about to occur, contact the following executives at CNN and encourage them to reverse their decision to exclude Alan Keyes.
To clarify for legal purposes the criteria established by CNN and YouTube for excluding Alan Keyes from Wednesday's debate, please provide the following information, so the Keyes campaign and its attorneys might assess its validity:
Exactly which published FEC guidelines do you have reference to in support of CNN and YouTube's "objective criteria" for excluding Ambassador Keyes? Please cite the publication and page where specific guidelines for televised debates are clearly made public knowledge by the FEC.
What is the "minimum national polling requirement" established by CNN and YouTube that Ambassador Keyes fails to meet, and what evidence do you have that Ambassador Keyes fails to meet this requirement? Please supply polls that reliably assess Dr. Keyes' actual support among registered Republican voters. To be reliable, these polls must include Dr. Keyes' name and give respondents the choice of expressing their support for him, alongside other candidates listed.
What evidence do you have of the actual amount of "individual contributions" raised to date by the Keyes campaign, upon which CNN and YouTube based their decision to exclude Dr. Keyes? Please describe the factual basis for identifying this amount, since we have never publicly released this confidential information, and explain how CNN and YouTube acquired it.
Based on entirely objective, proven criteria not subjective, speculative, or theoretical considerations what is the definition used by CNN and YouTube to define a "viable national campaign." Note that this definition must apply equally to a grassroots campaign of the sort Dr. Keyes has undertaken in the past, as opposed to a media-based, high-cost campaign typically undertaken by candidates whose goal is to shape public opinion. In other words, to be valid, the criteria can neither favor, nor exclude, either traditional approach.
Besides the criteria cited in your e-mail, what other possible basis might CNN and YouTube have for demonstrably damaging the campaign of a presidential candidate certified by the State of Florida as equal in credibility to the other candidates the state has chosen for its primary ballot? In other words, what possible reason does CNN or YouTube have to prevent Florida voters from making an informed choice among all the Republican candidates hand-selected by the State of Florida for its presidential primary?
How do CNN and YouTube intend to dispel the obvious appearance that their exclusion of Ambassador Keyes from the debate does in fact amount to an attempt to damage the Keyes campaign? In other words, explain why the behavior of CNN and YouTube is not intentionally self-fulfilling since it presumes in advance that the Keyes campaign lacks viability, and then proceeds to ensure such lack of viability by excluding Dr. Keyes from the nation's consciousness even though he is the most eloquent and persuasive Republican candidate in the race, a candidate who in 2000 was widely credited with winning the Republican presidential debates and came in third in the primaries, and whose candidacy, therefore, cannot objectively be considered less than viable.
Since the lawful role of the media in the electoral process is limited to reporting, influencing, and monitoring that process, by what legitimate means did CNN and YouTube obtain the undemocratic authority to screen from the electoral process a candidate officially chosen by the State of Florida for its presidential primary? In other words, explain to America's voters how CNN and YouTube (and other media or internet giants) have acquired the role of ultimate arbiters in the electoral process. Explain, additionally, how such media control of that process is healthy for America's representative political system.
Why did CNN wait until there was barely a day left prior to the debate before responding to my inquiry about CNN's intentions regarding the participation of Alan Keyes and why was CNN and YouTube's basis for excluding him not made known to the Keyes campaign until this late date, eliminating any possibility of including him if it was in fact the intention of CNN and YouTube to be "objective" and fair toward Ambassador Keyes? Surely, you realize that by utterly ignoring Dr. Keyes until now and then singling him out for exclusion from the debate despite the fact that the latest Mason-Dixon Florida poll lists him ahead of Duncan Hunter, Ron Paul, and Tom Tancredo CNN and YouTube have destroyed any claim they might make of objective fairness in this process.
Finally, what is the position of other Republican presidential candidates toward the candidacy of Dr. Keyes, and have any of these candidates, at any time, expressed to the debate's sponsors a desire to exclude Dr. Keyes from the debate? Bear in mind that this question is fair game in court, as are all the other above questions, and may require the sponsors to testify under oath the truth of their intentions, the basis for those intentions, and their attitudes toward the Keyes campaign and Dr. Keyes himself.
At this late point, there's still time to get Ambassador Keyes in the debate. We request that an invitation be extended to him immediately.
Stephen Stone CEO, Alan Keyes for President
From: Feist, Sam To: Stephen Stone Cc: Davis, Rick ; Chairman Jim Greer ; firstname.lastname@example.org Sent: Monday, November 26, 2007 11:02 PM Subject: RE: Inclusion of Alan Keyes in CNN/YouTube/Florida GOP debate
Dear Mr. Stone,
Thank you for your note regarding Ambassador Keyes' participation in the CNN/You Tube debate on November 28th.
CNN and You Tube have established objective criteria for inclusion in the debate, in accordance with Federal Election Commission guidelines. The objective criteria established for this debate included requirements that a candidate meet a bare minimum threshold in national polling and also that a candidate meet a minimum fundraising requirement.
Ambassador Keyes has not met the minimum national polling requirement. And he has not met our requirement that he raise a minimum of $1million in individual contributions. We believe that this fundraising criteria is an indication of a candidate's ability to run a viable national campaign. These are the identical criteria that CNN used in its recent Democratic presidential debate.
If you have additional questions, feel free to contact me directly.
CNN Political Director
Keyes is running? Who knew?
I’d prefer them eliminating anyone not polling in double digits nationally and without an effective ground organization.
I’d like to get some lengthy, substantive answers from the candidates who have a real shot at the nomination. All the vanity candidates can go have their own debate.
Alan Keyes is running?
You’d think we might have seen him once or twice up here in New Hampshire... you’d think he’d have bothered to show up at at least one of the various county Republican picnics over the summer...
At this point, I’d exclude any candidate who isn’t polling above the margin of error - say about 4%.
Let Keyes find a senate race.
Well, that will take away a cetain entertainment factor from the debate, but thats all I think.
from Alan’s Wikipedia entry (Janet Parshall is a religious,
and other issues, talk show host IIRC)
>>On June 5, 2007, a group called We Need Alan Keyes for President formed a political action committee to encourage Keyes to enter the 2008 United States Presidential Election. On September 14, 2007, Keyes officially announced his candidacy in an interview with radio show host Janet Parshall.
Any state will do.
Keyes’s slogan is “We Need Alan Keyes”. Hillary and Obama certainly need Keyes to win the GOP primaries.
No, please don't! We need to hang onto all the Senate seats we can, not lose them easily to empty suits a la Barack Obama.
I say put him on the stage so that the Republicans can counter the claim by Hillary and Obama that they are the only party with minority candidates. It’s a win-win for the Republicans.
Maybe we could get him to run as a democrat.
Perhaps, Keyes should move to MS and demand Gov Haley to appoint him to Lott’s Senate. That’s the only way he can win a political seat.
So, Alan Keyes is the only candidate who can keep contributions confidential?
Maybe if they're ZERO, he can.
Now he won't win the presidency
(/extra heavy sarcasm)
Mr. Romney, do agree that CNN acted rashly by excluding the only declared, black Republican candidate for president, Alan Keyes? I realize that you aren't afraid of jousting with Keyes...why do you think CNN acted to censor his voice?
The republican party can come up with better Blacks that Keyes - like someone who has been able to run a successful campaign. Or at least a credible campaign.
Give Micheal Steele a shot!! (Then Steny Hoyer can put his foot in his mouth again, that Steele works like a slave for the Republican party). CNN wants the Republicans to look all white for political reasons. Keyes exclusion SHOULD be pointed out tonight, so it blows up in CNN’s face! The party of Lincoln is NOT exclusionary!
>>The effect of this decision by CNN is far-reaching. Any candidate who does not appear in this nationally-televised debate the last one scheduled before the primaries will have little chance of compensating for the damage done to his campaign in the public mind. Note that Ambassador Keyes has already been excluded from two previous national debates on dubious grounds, and as a result, most people are not even aware he is running for president.<<
I’ve no particular love for CNN’s view of the politics but there comes a point where someone needs to be polling at a least a few percent or there is no need to include them in the debate.
Clinton is a Liar will be on the warpath!
Sadly if it didn't happen on the 5:00 o'clock news it didn't happen, for most people.
This is somewhat aside from the point, but WHY are the Republicans allowing the enemy, CNN, to run their debate, whereas the Democrats flatly refused to appear on Fox News, even though it is no longer conservative?
So, hillary gets to stack the Democrat debate with an audience made up of her supporters, and to prepare the questions and the questioners beforehand, and to sneak in her own stooges as “independent” panelists, and to tell the moderators what they can ask and what they must keep silent about.
Apparently hillary also gets to stack the Republican debate, to tell the moderators what to ask, and probably even to tamper with their audience.
What’s wrong with this picture?
Keyes should demand reparations from CNN.
Let Alan Keyes in on the debate. His participation would raise the bar for all the other candidates.
He is articulate on all the issues, intelligent, thoughtful and conservative. What more do you need to know.
As much as I like to hear Dr Keyes speak, all I am afraid he would do, is interupt other candidates to answer questions not directed to him.
Steele would be OK; I was thinking of J.C. Watts. Or there was the guy who ran for senate from Georgia a few years ago, Herman Cain. Cain’s also survived a bout with colon cancer, so that should be good for blunting attacks from Edwards.
Id prefer them eliminating anyone not polling in double digits nationally and without an effective ground organization.Although I agree with you on principle, I think this standard should be exercised after Iowa and NH, when actual votes have been cast.
In the meantime, however, there has to be some standard and whatever that standard is, Keyes doesn't meet it.
Duncan Hunter, and some of the others not polling in double digits, should be allowed to continue debating at least until after Iowa and NH, in my opinion.
Of course, if the shoe was on the other foot...
“Amazing how many Freepers are thrilled at the CNN execs decision to filter our candidates for us. Oh well, as long as our personal Ox isn’t being gored I guess, a little censorship is OK.”
Want some cheese with that whine? Censorship? Give me a break. Airtime is valuable and should not be wasted on the likes of Keyes. I say the same for Kucinich and Paul.
What do you think this is? Little league where every one gets to play no matter how much they suck? Well, it’s not and that is a damn good thing.
I can honestly say that I didn't know he was running again.
(Not that his presence in the race makes any difference to me)
I'm with you. Keyes was literally locked out of a debate last time he ran, handcuffed by police and driven around and dumped after the debates were over.
As for CNN, this is nothing new to them:CNN Commentator Suggests Alan Keyes Be Dropped from Debates After He Wins AGAIN
Click, read the comments, as well as the article.
Kinda like deja vu all over again.
FWIW, Alan Keyes is the ONLY Presidential candidate who can go toe to toe with Obama and NOT get the race card played on him.
He is also the only presidential candidate to have stopped in my town in my lifetime, and I'm a great-grandpa. I heard his speech, and frankly, liked most of what he had to say. We differ on a couple of points, but I think having him in the debates puts more political weight on the Right side of the policy platform teeter-totter that seems to be tilting ever leftward in the Republican Party.
Alan is the only candidate in either party with anything substantive to say, yet he alone is singled out for such treatment.
All the shining lights in the heavens I will darken over you; I will bring darkness over your land, declares the Sovereign LORD.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
I agree with your statement, Amb. Keyes is certainly the most articulate speaker and would bury these other speakers not to mention the Dem’s. Personally I would vote for him in a NY second. He is clear, committed and someone with a clear message, and not a hack like most politicians Dem or republican.
Anyone expecting CNN to be fair is being set up for disappointment. We witnessed how they rolled over for Hillary. CNN will push their own agenda with the Republican candidates, and focus on the ones who closely match ‘their’ ideas of the right candidate. Its predictable who those three will be.
At least Kucinich knows how to get elected.....over and over and over again.
They (CNN) could give Keyes the bunny rabbit question.
And inspiring: I want to rush out and do "something good" after his sermonsI mean, talks.
Good to see you again, Aquinasfan.
It’s sickening to see cowards, even on this site, who cheer on the gatekeepers at CNN. As long as it’s their anointed one who’s not getting excluded, they don’t care that great voices for our freedom and liberty are excluded.