Afraid of the Big Bad Fox

What is it with the Democrats and Fox News Channel? Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have now joined former Sen. John Edwards in dissing a debate sponsored by Fox along with — guess who — the Congressional Black Caucus Institute!

The Democratic National Committee has announced six debates for the 2008 season but did not list the Fox debate scheduled for Sept. 23. Instead they are taking part in another CBC debate sponsored by CNN in South Carolina. Reportedly pressure from liberal activists, including Jesse Jackson and moveon.org, is causing these Democrats to lose their head. Last month another Fox debate was scheduled for August in Nevada but that got the boomerang as well. Congratulations to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), who had the wisdom to say the move was “unfortunate,” and to remind his fellow Democrats that Edwards and others participated in two debates Fox sponsored with the CBC during the 2004 primary campaign.

What, exactly, are Democrats afraid will happen at a Fox debate? That they will have to debate Republicans and the CBC will let Sean Hannity only hand out trophies to the GOP debate champions? Isn’t it a forum for all the candidates to air their views and policies, Democrat to Democrat? The purpose of the debates is debate among candidates vying for their party’s nomination — not the presidency itself. And speaking of the general election, don’t Democrats remember that after becoming the nominee of their party one lucky soul will have to start campaigning for votes from independents and Republicans too, from states colored red and purple as well as blue?

Why not introduce themselves to the audience of Fox News Channel, no matter who they are?