The Fox/Republican Party
Anybody who still doubted that Fox Network News was the official mouthpiece of the Republican Party must now face the truth. FNN is a party network. They are in bed with the elephants. Not only are they not fair and balanced, they are sycophants to Karl Rove and his cronies.
What other conclusion can we reach from the fact that Ron Paul has been excluded from the next presidential debate? Yes, we all want to see fewer candidates in the debate, but Paul has a lot of support out there. He raised almost 20 million dollars last quarter. Fred Thompson and Duncan Hunter are no more viable? So why Paul and why now, before the Iowa caucuses? The only reason to exclude Pual is that his message is so far outside what the Republican Party wants that he threatens them. He has challenged them on the war and on presidential powers. He is highly critical of President Bush. He rocks the boat and it cares them.
And now he's being excluded from the debate. If they'd waited till after Iowa and then said they were excluding everybody who didn't poll at least 15% that would have been one thing. But to come out before Iowa and exclude Ron Paul is a blatant effort to marginalize a maverick candidate, and it only serves the party and the establishment candidates (it doesn't even serve the network, as a debate that includes Paul is much more interesting than one without him). It is certainly a disservice to the voters. The party hacks are trying to make Paul out to be such a fringe candidate that he isn't worth the effort to vote for, and one can only surmise that they did it now because they are worried about him and want to push him aside before the actual voting gets underway. Ron Paul may indeed be this year's Howard Dean, but the voters are the ones who should decide that.
Need more proof? My mother lives in Nevada and was planning to caucus for Ron Paul, though she's never caucussed before. She is the classic Ron Paul voter: someone who is dissatisfied with the party and is inspired by his populist message, and now wants to jump on the bandwagon. Turns out she's too late. She is a registered republican, but in order to take part in the caucuses she had to have signed up to do so weeks in advance. I assume that's to head off any late arriving Paul supporters like her (for the democratic caucus you can just show up). Right now in Nevada Paul is polling ahead of Mike Huckabee and one point behind McCain. And that is causing panic among the pachyderms. From my point of view they are rigging this election.