December 31, 2007

I hate to say it, but Ron Paul fans may have a legitimate complaint this time.

Republican Rep. Ron Paul and his supporters are targeting the Fox News network today after an Internet discussion spread during the weekend that the cable network wasn’t giving the Texas lawmaker a seat at the table for a New Hampshire forum scheduled two days before the state’s Jan. 8 primary.

The Associated Press reported last Thursday that the New Hampshire Republican Party would be sponsoring a forum at St. Anselm College in Goffstown, N.H., with Fox News host Chris Wallace moderating the discussion.

Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson were the only candidates listed as participants, and so the Paul supporters mobilized.

This morning, Washington Wire received a mass email from an independent Paul supporter calling on his considerable online organization to write to Fox employees and protest the decision. The email listed the addresses of about 60 Fox employees, from press contacts to hosts Bill O’Reilly, Shepard Smith, Neil Cavuto and Brit Hume.

“Has Fox News Excluded Ron Paul From the Pre NH Primary Forum?” the email said, “Fox News cannot just stifle public opinion. debate and impact a primary election by excluding Ron Paul just because they don’t like his message of freedom and liberty,” the email said (typos included).

As Josh Marshall put it, "Paul's out because he's not a Fox News Bush-clone. Say whatever you want about the guy, Fox News shouldn't be able to silence him because they don't like his views."

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