The South Carolina Democratic Party (SCDP) decided earlier this week to give MSNBC exclusive access to their state convention where 2020 Democratic presidential contenders are speaking on Saturday. In addition to giving MSNBC exclusive access, an embargo was placed on other outlets. They're not allowed to use MSNBC's convention footage for three hours.
Although MSNBC didn't pay for the exclusivity, they're paying for production costs and hosts Joy Reid and Al Sharpton are broadcasting life from the convention. Many of the 2020 candidates are expected to speak with the liberal network once they make their on-stage remarks, Fox News reported.
Various news outlets, including C-SPAN, CBS News, ABC News, Fox News and CNN came together to send a letter to SCDP, letting them state party know they're protesting the decision.
"South Carolina is a critical state in the presidential nominating process and your convention is the largest gathering to date of the 2020 Democratic candidates," the letter read. "Because of this event's importance to the voting public, we believe it should be made available to every accredited media outlet without embargoes, restrictions or other limitations."
The group asked the state party to change its decision.
C-SPAN, @CBSNews, @ABC, @FoxNews and @CNN sent a letter to @SCDP yesterday to formally protest their decision to grant live TV coverage rights to tomorrow's South Carolina Democratic party convention exclusively to @MSNBC.— CSPAN (@cspan) June 21, 2019
No reply has been received. pic.twitter.com/9nP2TWTKNv
The SCDP ended up standing by their decision.
And people on both sides of the aisle agreed: it's a bad decision that could set a dangerous precedent.
Hot Air Editor Ed Morrissey brought up a great point: C-SPAN simply streams speeches and hearings. There's no interruption or pundits talking. It's a simple streaming.
Could not agree more, especially in regard to @CSPAN, which does nothing except present events in full and uninterrupted context.— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) June 22, 2019
Regardless of how anyone feels about MSNBC or other various outlets, people should be upset by this decision. What the 2020 Democrats say can and will impact all of us. They're running for a national office and we deserve to hear what they say in its entirety, not based on what one news outlet thinks we should hear. What MSNBC might not consider "important" or "newsworthy" could be deemed extremely important by Fox or CNN. But without them there, we won't know what they'd highlight, which limits Americans' scope of information.