Fox News Channel and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute have agreed to sponsor two debates this fall, in a move that could ignite another round of criticism by liberal activists and the online group MoveOn.
The Nevada Democratic Party last month pulled out of a planned debate with Fox News after Sen. John Edwards pulled out, complaining of the news channel’s coverage of Democratic candidates. Liberal activists also mounted a campaign to scuttle the event, calling Fox’s coverage slanted.
Fox and the Black Caucus group plan a debate of Democratic candidates on Sept. 23 in Detroit, and another with GOP contenders at an unscheduled date and location.
Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, said in a statement to the New York Times:
"As a leading organization dedicated to educating the public on issues of national policy, the CBC Institute is committed to presenting the presidential candidates to the broadest audience possible.”
“Our goal with each debate is to provide a platform that will allow voters to hear the positions of candidates from both political parties. Collaborating with FOX News provides an opportunity to take this presidential election to millions of households.”