Hillary Clinton Accepts Fox News Debate

by: Matt Stoller

Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 09:45

Glad you made it clear, Senator.  I was debating whether to vote on Tuesday, mostly because I don't trust Obama and I think that your female supporters have been attacked and undermined by the media and the political establishment since you got into the race.  Now that it's pretty clear you think nothing of the fact that your supporters have been consistently attacked by the right-wing for years, I will proudly cast my vote against you and for Barack Obama next Tuesday.

Of course, that is unless Obama accepts the debate.  I hope he doesn't.  Seriously, Senator Clinton, this is just pathetic.  

... I'm a DC voter, and my primary is on the 12th.  Also, one friend speculated that Clinton is out of money and could be looking for any platform at this point.  That's possible.

UPDATE:  Considering Obama's been all over Fox News this past month and that he promised to go on O'Reilly after the primaries, and that Moveon screwed over Clinton after she voted against the censure when Obama did not, I am inclined to cut her some slack here.  That would change of course were Obama to make a forceful denunciation of Fox News.  I doubt he will do so.

Matt Stoller :: Hillary Clinton Accepts Fox News Debate

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Re: (0.00 / 0)
I am trying to figure out what the Clinton campaign sees as the UPSIDE of this move.

If they think debates are good for them, they've already accepted several other debates.  What do they think they're accomplishing with this one?

One possibility (4.00 / 4)
The Clinton folks might be thinking that if Obama accepts, he'll alienate the internet liberals, but if he demurs, they can insinuate that he's afraid to debate. Just a theory.

[ Parent ]
I think so (4.00 / 6)
I think that could definitely be it. If they feel like there's irreparable damage between their campaign and hardcore progressives, they have nothing to lose by going on Fox News - if he accepts, it would anger that base of hardcore progressives; if he declines, they can throw down the "he's afraid to debate" card.

People like to talk about Obama using "right wing frames" on a lot of issues, but it is the Clinton campaign that has consistently used some of the most damaging ones - validating Fox, claiming Obama would raise taxes by a trillion dollars, is getting mixed up in the superdelegate mess, attempting to disenfranchise voters in Iowa - all things that are much more tangibly damaging to the Democratic Party and really democracy on the whole than anything Barack Obama has said or done.

[ Parent ]
Agree, but... (4.00 / 1)
I agree that this is probably what they think the upsides are...but on the other hand, Obama does not do as well as Clinton in these debates, and now he has a good excuse to skip one and make an issue out of it.

I don't think Clinton has anything left to lose with internet liberals, so why not go for it?  MSNBC is just as nasty to her as FOX is, and she does their debates.

[ Parent ]
Re: (0.00 / 0)
But let's say Obama accepts all the other debates but says he won't do the one on Fox.  Does this really benefit Hillary?  Does she think she gets some bwa-ha-ha argument like "I guess you're not so interested in unifying the country after all"?  I'm baffled.

[ Parent ]
Makes sense (0.00 / 0)
They use the Rovian tactic of going after the other side's strength.  Try to make him seem no better than her.  Dim his lights.

Also, Murdoch has some connection to Hillary, and maybe she'd get more favorable spin.

John McCain--He's not who you think he is.

[ Parent ]
Testing the water? Trying to Get independents? (0.00 / 0)
A) She wants to see what Fox will attack her with in the primary?
B) she wants to pull some of Obama's indy vote?

We won the Battle. Now the Real Fight for Change Begins. Join MoveOn.org and fight for progressive change.  

[ Parent ]
Independents don't watch Fox (4.00 / 1)
  It's exclusively a Republican playground.

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

[ Parent ]
I know indys who watch it. They think they're being smart. (0.00 / 0)

We won the Battle. Now the Real Fight for Change Begins. Join MoveOn.org and fight for progressive change.  

[ Parent ]
In 2004 (4.00 / 2)
Fox voters went for Bush over Kerry by a margin of 88-7.

[ Parent ]
Watch your mouth, son (0.00 / 0)
I watch Fox and I ain't no right-winger.

Besides - if Fox is all about Republicans and Conservatives - why was Hillary Clinton on Fox News Sunday - just last week?

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
Depends (0.00 / 0)
  Do you watch it for information (which would by definition make you a rightwinger), or are you just "monitoring" it (which is something non-rightwingers have to do, though that's a job best left to Media Matters)?

 If you watch Fox to get informed, well, I'll be nice and not finish the thought...  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

[ Parent ]
Both, actually (0.00 / 0)
I find that Fox provides the clearest depiction of the ring-wing because it is in their own words.  I find Chris Wallace to be a rather good (for the MSM) interviewer and I think Bill Kristol is quite humorous - I have been waging a letter writing campaign to the News Hour to replace David Brooks with Kristol, actually.  

We undoubtedly have a different concept about "information".

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
if?? (0.00 / 0)
If you're trying to argue that Fox is not all about Republicans/conservatives, it's an argument you won't win.  You'll find less bias in the purported news segments than you will in the hour screamfests, but it's always there lurking.  Think "America's Mayor" for an example (kudos to A Daily Show for shining a light on that)

As for your question: maybe they were looking to fire up the base just before Super Tuesday?  The current incarnation of the GOP is fueled by anger, and what better way to dose the clamoring masses than with a nice on-air chat with their arch nemesis?

[ Parent ]
I am not making that argument (0.00 / 0)
Rather, I have no qualms about any given media outlet having a bias - I would rather they were more open about it, but I think media "balance" is to be determined at the national level - are there many alternative choices.  Thereby, media consolidation is a major issue - but not the topic.

My wish is that the left would stop trying to suppress Fox and start putting out a competing message - which IS happening.

I think that boycotting Fox gives them more power than they actually have - and smacks of weakness.  Rather, Clinton and Obama should go on Fox and if the moderator provides poor framing, correct it and take them on - in the temple of the right-wing.  

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
I suppose it depends on your own viewpoint as to how left leading you are (0.00 / 0)
I know fox viewers that watch fox shows and have popcorn nights and see who can get the most bulls eyes on the Orielly show. :o) lol

If she can mind game the moderate conservatives, maybe we will get more democrate votes in the fall.

I for one will be watching.

Obama's movement for 'Change' may find the heat a bit to much, hence the bo ha again hillie.

[ Parent ]
Managing expectations? (0.00 / 0)
There has been a lot of speculation that this announcement suggests that the Clinton camp is "on the ropes."  Are they setting up for a surprisingly good finish tonight (i.e. a finish that is perfectly predictable and unremarkable, except that many of us have come to believe in the possibility of an Obama landslide tonight)?  

Just another theory....

[ Parent ]
There Is An Alternative (4.00 / 1)
The Greater Houston Partnership and the Sierra Club Foundation have scheduled a 28 February debate here in Houston, Texas that conflicts with the fucking Wolf Blitzer bait-fest on CNN.

It is Energy/Environment/Economy + Security Themed. He should come here and, also, confront the sleazy black/latino political establishment that supports whoever their patrons in the white establishment tell them to.

OBAMA should come here. He can force this. Texas has a huge delegation. The party establishment tried to lock it up for Edwards and failed. They are desperately trying to switch it to Clinton, and will fail at that, too.

Seriously, Obama is huge with Texas voters but not with the party establishment here, as if they mattered one whit.



Now wait a munite, (0.00 / 0)
are you suggesting the the Texas Democratic Party plays favorite with some candidates.  Say it ain't so!!!!

Actually Texas could be unexpectedly pivotal, not just in determining the outcome of the Democratic Primary but also in redefining Democratic demographic dynamics (sorry, I could not resist that bit of alliteration.)  Texas is now majority minority and minorities are starting to realize that they can have real authority beyond a handful of districts.  As Houston and Dallas are rapidly trending Blue on the strength of the minority vote the Texas Democratic Party seems to be working hard to find Hispanic, black and women candidates that will not overly rock their boat. But the times, they are a changing. There are huge populations of deeply disenfranchised voters here.  If they ever get a sense that the Party does not have to belong to the white guys in the back room things could change very rapidly.  

[ Parent ]
Um, Matt? (4.00 / 1)
> I was debating whether to vote on Tuesday

Um, Matt:  Today IS Tuesday!


Then why (4.00 / 2)
did Obama agree to an interview on Fox last month?  Is he changing his mind too?

WOW (0.00 / 0)
I was going to make a smartass comment about holding your breath but it turns out s/he is telling the truth:


[ Parent ]
selling out a little early (4.00 / 1)
Classy how Hillary waited until after voting began to announce this. It sort of confirms my suspicion that as soon as the Clintons don't need you anymore they'll sell you out. I'm just kind of surprised she did it so early, because if Obama doesn't go along with this it could seriously damage her support.

Aren't Hillary and Bill great friends with Rupert Murdoch? Seriously, how do people not see how close the Clintons are to the right and corporate interests?

But... (0.00 / 0)
"Classy how Hillary waited until after voting began to announce this. It sort of confirms my suspicion that as soon as the Clintons don't need you anymore they'll sell you out."

Why wouldn't she wait until tomorrow or the next day then?

John McCain: Health insurance for low income children represents an "unfunded liability."

[ Parent ]
OK, let's get real here (4.00 / 3)
as this is politics which is a hard ball sport. At some point the Democrats had to start going back on Fox on occasions which would suite their purpose.  Given all Barack's fondness for Reagan I would have thought his team would have snagged Fox before Hillary. And I would not have lambasted him for that either. Strategically it's time to start talking to the potential Republican defectors.  Both Obama and Hillary will need them.  Given how much McCain alientes a certain segment of the Republican base, there are Republican votes to be had for Democrats.

Go get um!

OK, let's get real here (0.00 / 0)
well put dragoneyes

[ Parent ]
Clinton doesn't want to look like a hypocrit any more (4.00 / 1)
After she showed up on Fox News Sunday last week - her claims that a debate on Fox is somehow biased went right out the window.

I agree with her - no good reason not to go on Fox and have a debate.  If the Democrats are too scared of a Fox News moderator making them look bad - what are they gonna do if and when the go to Iran, or Syria?

Really, folks, don't you trust that the top two Democrats in the nation can handle a Fox News moderator?

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

Re: (4.00 / 2)
It has nothing to do with the moderator asking biased questions.  The Democratic boycott of Fox News is about refusing to acknowledge it as a real news channel.

[ Parent ]
Hasn't that already been decided (0.00 / 0)
when Hillary Clinton appeared on FNS last week-end?

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
Re: (4.00 / 1)
No, of course not.  Both Clinton and Obama have made appearances on Fox, but one appearance does not magically legitimize them for all time.  The Democratic Party should have as little to do with Fox as possible.

[ Parent ]
I agree to disagree (0.00 / 0)
I think it makes the Dems look weak and petty - just like trying to get Nader off the ballots in 2004.  Its beneath a national party in a democratic nation

"It sounds wrong...
     ...but its right."

[ Parent ]
So you weren't sure you'd vote at all... (0.00 / 0)
but of all issues, this was what made you support one candidate for president over another?




Making it clear (4.00 / 5)
Here's Barack Obama on Fox News last week.


Here's another.


It's pretty clear that he thinks NOTHING of the fact that his supporters have been consistently attacked by the right wing for years.

I've said it before. . . (4.00 / 1)
While it's obvious the right wing hates Hillary, there is nothing at all to suggest she hates them back.  Yet people think she will fight them if elected.

Gee, I thought (0.00 / 0)
Obama was all about reconciation and not hating people and reaching across the aisle and bipartisanship and not letting differences alienate us from our common interests and...

I would think that means he doesn't hate the right wing, wouldn't it?

And of course, Hillary would be extra-quick to hop in bed with them just to show she has no hard feelings for 20-plus years of personal abuse and lies and attempted coups hurled by them in her direction.

[ Parent ]
Enough with the network-brand debates (4.00 / 5)
It's big news to have Clinton vs. Obama debate. Do the debates in public forums and if any network wants to cover it -- cover it as news. Enough with providing free reality TV programming for cable networks. This race is bigger than cable TV now -- there's no need to cut deals with Fox, CNN or any network.

PBS, C-Span or League of Women Voters. Otherwise...enough with the parade of TV news personalities.

John McCain

I thought Clinton DID vote for the censure? (0.00 / 0)

Ok -- I checked (0.00 / 0)
I got confused...

She voted NAY...



Umbrage Lag
Two weeks on, Hillary condemns the MoveOn ad.


[ Parent ]
Fox More Fair To Clinton Than MSNBC (4.00 / 1)
I'm of the opinion that Fox News has been MUCH more fair to Clinton than MSNBC has.

Further, a Democrat going nose-to-nose with Fox News does have an upside.  After all, Bill Clinton did himself and the Democratic party a lot of good when he appeared on Fox prior to the 2006 elections.

As much as I can't stand Fox News, I would be (4.00 / 1)
uncomfortable witholding my vote from a candidate simply because that candidate has a lesser degree of contempt for a cable news network than I might have.

Still ... I really hate Fox News ...

I'm sorry... (4.00 / 1)
Saying that MoveOn screwed Clinton just seems silly to me. As an organization, MoveOn had three choices. Endorse Clinton, endorse Obama, or endorse nobody. They could have made it a top/down decision, but they didn't; they opened it to a democratic vote and Obama won. A lot more people chose Obama. The vote on censuring MoveOn was stupid. I'm glad Clinton voted against it. At the time, I was a little upset that Obama didn't vote against it. But, he in fact did not vote for it, and quickly came out with a statement condemning the amendment. I think if all of the Democrats had abstained from that vote, and refused to legitimate it, then it would have made an even bigger statement. Anyway, that was only one factor. Clinton did go and authorize the Kyl/Lieberman amendment soon after that. Life is always about weighing different options based on the evidence you have.  

The phrase "I don't trust Obama" (0.00 / 0)
Matt, what do you mean by this? Is it like the way a lot of people didnt't trust Edwards, thinking his populist, liberal message was more opportunistic than sincere (I am not one of these Edwards skeptics, but I know plenty)?

I am just curious if the word "trust" is really accurate for what you mean because I think it is a totally loaded word and, if I might play Lakoff here for a second, plays into some very dangerous framing. Basically, the whole thing we all make fun of b/c of how absurd it is -- "that Barack Hussein Obama is a secret Islam who wants to destroy America from the inside" -- is actually a dangerous fire to dump fuel on.

The "I don't trust Obama" line is one that has been echoed by Clinton supporters since this campaign got heated -- they usually mean it in a different way: that they don't think he's experienced enough, or they think he's "slick," or any one of the number of sentiments that is probably completely part of the group mentality in the Clinton camp (based on general campaign message points that then become culture among her following).

I would just say be careful with the language. We all know how important words actually are.  

The race is changing..... (0.00 / 0)
I think people are underestimating the impact of Barack Obama's $32M haul in January. He raised almost $20M more than her! Couple that with the fact that a much smaller portion of Obama's donor base is 'tapped out', and you have Clinton on the losing side of a media/money war. She lacks the charisma necessary to make up for any money disadvantage. It really is 'game over' for team Clinton if this thing drags out.

I'm fine with Clinton's move if it is borne out desperation or tactical considerations. She will need to survive on free media and that's what debates are. Moreover, she does shine in these settings. The is an election and I want our candidates to worry about winning first.

I think its ridiculous that this issue swings your vote and I say that as an Obama supporter. If comes out of 'Super Tuesday' tied with Clinton, it makes no strategic sense to help Clinon with free media. He should run out the clock. This is my test for Obama. Can he put his foot down on his opponent's throat and go for the kill? I'm not a wide-eyed idealist. I'm a progressive partisan. Show me you know what it wake to win!

Perhaps this has something to do with it? (4.00 / 2)
Election Study Finds Media Hit Hillary Hardest
Obama, Huckabee Fare Best;
FOX Is Most Balanced (not a typo)


We've all observed the ridiculous hackery of MSNBC this cycle - far worse than anything I ever saw on Fox before I stopped watching them. Perhaps it is time that Fox be thrown a bone for seeming to get the message, and Tweety to be forcibly shut up for awhile.

[ Parent ]
Pigs fly (0.00 / 0)
I would have never thought that Fox would be the one to give her the most balanced coverage.  

I wonder what the deal is.

The media coverage of the Clintons has been really bad though.  A disgrace really.  I just didn't realize it was quite so bad that even Fox News would do a better job in being fair to her.

I have to say that after the way both Edwards and Clinton have been treated by the media, contrasted with the largely positive and plentiful coverage for Obama, I am really perplexed.  We've been saying for years that the media is one of the biggest problems with this country.  And during this primary, it looks like they have chosen our candidate.  It has a reverse psychology effect on me.  I don't want to support the candidate that they are supporting.

I have to think about this some more.  It could just be about the ratings and the hype.

[ Parent ]
Oh, please! (4.00 / 1)
This is what you're going to base your primary vote on--that a candidate accepted an invitation from a news network you find illegitimate?  

This is one of your criteria for selecting a president?  Are we now reduced to playing Trivial Pursuit?

I'm sorry, but what this looks like to those of us who find either Clinton or Obama equally acceptable (if not equally desirable) is the act of somebody desperate to unearth an excuse to eliminate one competitor and support the other.

Interesting tactic (0.00 / 0)
This puts Obama in a position to have to make a more difficult choice than Clinton. Any choice he makes probably hurts him more than Clinton's acceptance hurts her. It highlights the downside of Obama trying to attract progressives and libertarian conservatives at the same time.

ec=-8.50 soc=-8.41   (3,967 Watts)

Twisted, stupid logic (0.00 / 0)
Is that really how you decide for whom to vote after all these many months of the campaign?

It is a symbol (0.00 / 0)
> Is that really how you decide for whom to vote
> after all these many months of the campaign?

For me it is a symbol of how the DemocratIC candidate intends to handle the out-of-control, unconstitutional situation that Cheney and Addington have left behind like a field of landmines.  Look at the Senate right now: caving in to Bush's "demands" that they pass telecomm immunity.  If the DemocratIC nominee can't stand up to the Radical Right Propaganda Network, one whose viewers are estimated to have voted 85-15 Bush/Cheney in 2004 (not 2000:  2004) then how can I have any confidence that they will stand up to the Radicals when they are in office?

And don't give me the "we can't be afraid of them".  This isn't the old NPR; they control the  microphones and the cameras, they don't hesitate to use that control to humiliate any Democrat foolish enough to step into their studio, and they have no internal belief that they should be fair or neutral.


I have a friend who picked up some cash editing video for Fox in the late 90s.  A typical order that would come in was "take this footage and give us 15 seconds that makes Bill Clinton look like a lecherous blowhard".  Didn't matter what the subject or context was; those were the orders.

[ Parent ]
Perhaps (0.00 / 0)
Perhaps both Obama and Clinton don't care about marginalizing Fox anymore now that Edwards is out of the race... very disappointing.


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