OH-11: Tubbs Jones (D) Supports Fox News Sponsorship of CBC Debate
In 2003 the CBC Institute, an affiliate of the 43-member Congressional Black Caucus, reached a deal with Fox News to sponsor a presidential debate focused on addressing the concerns of African American voters. Fox News began at that point to ingratiate itself with the CBC by making donations to individual members and to the political arm of the caucus, and by establishing an internship program at Morgan State University, a black college in the district of then-chairman Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD).
This year, when plans to repeat the Fox-sponsored presidential debate in this election cycle were made public, Democratic bloggers and activists objected loudly to sponsorship of the CBC debate by Fox News, citing Fox's blatant bias against Democrats and against blacks in particular. The three highest-profile Democratic candidates (Sen. Barack Obama, Sen. Hillary Clinton, and former Sen. John Edwards) have all withdrawn from the event. For details about the debate, the campaign against it, and the reactions by the candidates, see this article in Sunday's New York Times and posts at MyDD.com here and here.
Although there is fierce debate within the CBC about the matter, and prominent member Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) has come out strong against the CBC-Fox relationship, the caucus members responsible for organizing the debate have refused to back down. Recently, 26 Caucus members joined in a letter to all of the candidates, urging them to participate in the Fox-CBC debate. Ohio's Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Cleveland) joined in that letter.
Constituents of Tubbs Jones and other Ohioans who are disturbed by the pernicious bias at Fox News, and who don't want to see the CBC continue to provide Fox News with cover to deny charges of bias and racial prejudice, can take action by signing an online petition sponsored by ColorofChange.org. Here is the text of the petition:
It is wrong for Black leaders to legitimize FOX -- a network that calls Black churches a cult, implies that Senator Barack Obama is a terrorist, and uses the solemn occasion of Coretta Scott King's funeral to call Black leaders "racist."
The Congressional Black Caucus Institute must end their partnership with FOX, and presidential candidates should reject the FOX debate in favor of the CBC Institute's CNN debate.