Jackson slams Black Caucus' plans to partner with Fox News

by Kate Phillips, New York Times/The Caucus blog

The Rev. Jesse Jackson has been enlisted by a grassroots online group, Color of Change, to denounce the deal announced on Thursday between Fox News and the Congressional Black Caucus institute for two presidential debates later this year.

In a statement just released, Reverend Jackson said:

“I am disappointed by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s partnership with FOX, and strongly encourage them to reverse that decision. Why would presidential candidates, or an organization that is supposed to advocate for Black Americans, ever give a stamp of legitimacy to a network that continually marginalizes Black leaders and the Black community? FOX moderating a presidential debate on issues of importance to Black Americans is literally letting the Fox guard the henhouse – FOX should be rejected.”

In its statement on Thursday, the C.B.C. said its agreement with Fox News would allow it to reach a broader audience. It plans to hold the first debate, among Democratic candidates, in Detroit in late September. The date for a debate among Republican candidates has not been set.

Last night, ColorofChange.org said it was kicking up a campaign to petition the candidates to boycott the event. James Rucker, director of the organization, said he hoped the C.B.C. would reconsider, and that candidates would only participate in the C.B.C.’s debates on CNN.

Update: We asked Candice Tolliver, a spokeswoman for the C.B.C., for comment on Reverend Jackson’s statement today. She referred us back to the institute’s news release from Thursday when it announced the new debates with Fox, and to a “frequently asked questions” segment on the site.

article originally published at http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/03/30/jackson-slams-fox-cbc-debate-deal/.

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