UPDATE NC-05: Reporters Banned From Debate

Crossposted at dKos and MyDD. Please recommend and comment.

Meet Roger Sharpe

Today Virginia Foxx is supposed to debate Roger Sharpe. It will be taped. No reporters will be present. It will only be broadcast late Sunday night at 10:30pm. It will be broadcast form a TV station that is not even located in the district and has only 10% signal coverage of the district in question.

This is the face of the Virginia Foxx democracy - unanswerable to the public.

Today, the Winston-Salem Journal is reporting on the details which are more akin to Soviet era propaganda than American democracy.

From The Winston-Salem Journal

With the election now less than a week away, 5th District U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx is still hiding from the public.

Foxx insisted that today's debate with her Democratic opponent, Roger Sharpe, be closed to news reporters. If she persists, she will thus prevent the district's news media from reporting on the debate until after it airs late Sunday night.

Just what is Foxx afraid of? She seems to be terrified of Roger Sharpe and a free press (see Bill of Rights for details)

Foxx has hidden from Sharpe throughout this campaign, in particular since she made herself look foolish in August. At that time, she returned from a short trip to Iraq with glowing reports about the course of the war. The nation's top military leaders made her look naive only days later when they told Congress just the opposite. She blamed the news media, the Journal in particular, for her humiliation and has refused to talk with the Journal since. Instead she sends her spokesman - a polite young man - out to take the questions she won't answer and to take the heat she can't stand.

Foxx is also upset that the Journal won't stand to be her whipping boy so she can raise money for other Republican candidates. She's been begging for contributions from her supporters, saying she's in a tight race and that the Journal is persecuting her. Yet she's sent much of the money she raised here to candidates in other states.

It should come as no surprise that Foxx is over-reacting to coverage she doesn't like. She's not one to take criticism or contrary opinions well. It's part of the reason she is not well suited to the role of a U.S. representative. It's the reason she was not an effective state senator in Raleigh, although she would blame her lack of success there on her status in the minority party.

And just like her personal savior, George W. Bush, she doesn't feel she needs to answer the voters on her record.

Incumbents often refuse to debate their opponents, saying they do not owe challengers the opportunity to get more publicity. But incumbents do owe the voters a chance to compare the candidates face to face, and Foxx is shortchanging the voters of this district with her policy on debates.

So far in this campaign, she has appeared with Sharpe only once - at a Davie County senior citizens' center. She turned down at least six other debate offers, including one on WFDD-FM. Now she has agreed to debate Sharpe only at the very end of the campaign, after a lot of people have already cast their votes early. It certainly creates the impression that Foxx has something to hide from the voters, or that she is afraid that Sharpe may show her up in a debate.

Equally disturbing in this episode is WMYV-TV's willingness to bar reporters from the debate. Jim Longworth, the debate's monitor, buckled under when he should have refused Foxx's request to bar the reporters. So much for full and open coverage of campaigns by WMYV.

We are in the home stretch and the campiagn is asking for $20 from everyone, please donate to Roger. Let me tell ya, every penny counts in this last week of backstabbing by Virginia Foxx.


Oh my God! I thought for a second you wrote that as a primer

This is HUGE, right? They basically call her an old cranky whiny baby. Who the hell is going to vote for her? I hoped this was big, that the media would not like having their 1st amendment rights trampled on, no matter if they are conservative or not.

CountryCrats - my thoughts, my blog.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

That was...

...raaaaaaaaather biting. I approve. Every weekend I drive up from Concord, through Wilkes County and into Watauga County, and I pass 50+ Sharpe signs on one stretch of road. Keep up the good work in the 5th, Virginia's making it easier for all of us.