Brent Bozell

We've now finished the first two presidential debates, both on MSNBC. Pundits are debating whether they will make a difference in the race, but one thing is very clear: It's business as usual for the media moderating these things. The Democrats were treated to an amiable chit-chat among friends. The Republicans took round after round of hostile fire from enemies. Nothing ever changes. The Democrats are spoiled like rotten kids, and the Republicans are invited to sleep on a bed of nails -- and do so willingly.

But the dynamic now has been made even worse by the petulant petitions and protests of the censorious left, the ones who claim to be "democrats" but want to remove Fox News Channel from the news media. Leftists believe in a media strategy with all the sophistication of holding your breath and turning blue. Fox hatred is required. On the Huffington Post, author Carol Hoenig argued the Democrats should debate on Fox. Even so, her article was headlined "Fox News: A Cancer on Society."

It's about time the GOP put an end to this charade by refusing to debate on CNN or MSNBC when they employ left-wing political pundits who throw roses at liberal politicians while they hurl invective at Republicans. So why don't they take a stand? Because they're afraid of the consequences. The Democrats can refuse to debate on Fox News, and the other networks chortle. If the Republicans refuse to debate on MSNBC, they infuriate NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS and NPR.

So what? What are these networks going to do in retaliation? Stop covering them? The news media need both parties as much as the parties need the news media. Conservatives and Republicans should stop taking this longstanding injustice sitting down -- and if they take a stand, their supporters will cheer.

The left-wing campaign to "unseat" Fox News (as the anti-Fox "News Hounds" blog calls it) should be a rallying cry for the GOP. If the left wants to assert that Fox is not a "legitimate" news channel, then the right should go to the mattresses to reply that the so-called "mainstream" media are an illegitimate gang of shameless Democratic partisans with James Carville on their speed dial.

The left is deadly serious, making it crystal clear that it's not a joke when radio hosts warn about them cracking down on conservative speech with a new "Fairness Doctrine" if the Democrats take control of both Congress and the White House. They will go from merely turning down Fox invitations to turning off conservative talk radio.

Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
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