Democrats Drop Fox Debate Following Ailes Jokes

In his acceptance speech for the 2007 First Amendment Leadership Award, Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes told numerous jokes which Democratic bloggers found offensive:

A man in France was arrested today for using his car to run down a pedestrian. He said he thought it was Osama bin Laden. Ok, it was a mistake, but it still ranks as France’s biggest military victory ever….

It is true that just in the last two weeks Hillary Clinton has had over 200 phone calls telling her in order to win the presidency she must stay on the road for the next two years. It is not true they were all from Bill.

And it is true that Barack Obama is on the move. I don’t know if it’s true that President Bush called Musharraf and said, ‘Why can’t we catch this guy?’

I’m not sure if Bush or Obama supporters should be more offended like the last one, which is in the format of numerous Bush jokes where Bush confuses names and words. Regardless of how the Obama joke was taken, this highlighted the fact that, to Roger Ailes and Fox News, Democrats (as well as France) are the enemies. Ailes also included an apparent threat to John Edwards, who announced earlier in the week that he would not take part in the debate:

Any candidate for high office of either party who believes he can blacklist any news organization is making a terrible mistake about journalists.

Bloggers and other activists have been protesting involvement in the debate hosted by Fox. MoveOn reports that  over 265,000 signed a petition sent to the Nevada Democratic Party. These statements from Ailes may have been the final straw as Democrats cancelled plans to participate in a debate hosted by Fox News. 

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