Tuesday, March 13

Airing on the Side of America

From Ben Smith Blog

Tweaking the Fox News Channel, the president of liberal Air America Radio this morning sent a letter to the chairmen of four state Republican parties, offering to host and broadcast the state parties' upcoming presidential debates.

Agreeing to the debate “would allow Republicans to differentiate themselves from Democrats,” Air America President Mark Green wrote to the Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina Republican chairmen in a deadpan communication provided this morning to The Politico.

The Nevada State Democratic Party dropped plans for Fox to broadcast an August debate after furious pressure from online activists, a move that drew attacks from Fox and the label of “Stalinist” from one Fox News commentator, Mort Kondracke.

“Should you accept Air America’s offer, Republicans would both embrace free debate and stick it to Stalin at the same time,” Green wrote.

The letter presses forward with what Fox’s critics see as a victory over the network, and draws a parallel between Fox, which famously presents itself as “fair and balanced” despite a prime-time roster heavy on conservative talking heads, and Air America, an openly partisan outlet that, despite recent business woes, claims to have 2.5 million listeners around the country.

Green – who dismissed as a front an invitation from Fox to provide a questioner to the Nevada debate -- offered to co-host the debate with Fox or another conservative outlet.

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