Fox News: Home of Democrat Debates?
By Allison Romano -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/10/2003 8:00:00 PM
It seems that politics does indeed make strange bedfellows: Fox News Channel has announced plans to air three Democratic presidential debates in the coming months.
Last week, Fox and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute unveiled plans to partner with Rupert Murdoch's news channel on two new debates. The first will be held in Baltimore on Sept. 9, the second in Detroit on Oct. 26. Eight of the nine major Democratic candidates have committed to the Baltimore debate. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) is the only one who hasn't said yes yet.
Fox News is often noted for conservative commentary and is run by former Republican strategist Roger Ailes. But Fox prides itself on its political prowess, and still brags about its fairness and balance.
"When there is not a two-party race, it's natural to make a big deal out of the race there is," said Marty Ryan, Fox's executive producer of political coverage. "We think we do the best political coverage of anybody."
Fox will also carry a January Democratic debate just prior to the South Carolina primary. ABC News has already hosted one debate with the candidates.
The idea for the latest round of debates sprouted several months ago after conversations between Fox CEO Ailes and U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Ryan says Fox will keep up its election coverage of both parties. "We'll make a big deal out of the Democratic convention and the Republican convention."
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