(June 14, 2007) -- As our readers know, LBReport.com has provided extended event coverage of four independently organized, non-party-filtered Congressional candidate forums, giving our readers unprecedented 24/7 on-demand access to what candidates said in independently organized, non-party-filtered events.
Meanwhile, the LB Area Democratic Club, City Hall's cable TV franchisee and another local website are staging events on different terms. Only Democrat candidates are invited, all others are censored from the events.
In the words of the website's May 29 and 30 releases, "Questions for the debates will be selected by the leadership of the Long Beach Democratic Club and representatives from Charter Communications" [not a news outlet, a cable franchisee] and the website.
In a previous editorial, we likened these self-embarrassing ground rules to Britney Spears parading around without underwear. What she thought was good promotion left others shaking their heads.
Two veteran news outlets which co-sponsored the recent Presidential primary debates in New Hampshire (WMUR-TV and Union Leader, the state's largest newspaper) told us that they wouldn't let a political entity participate in deciding what questions are asked (or aren't asked).
Right. Neither would other news outlets we respect.
In our opinion, letting some political entity decide whom to include (or exclude) and play a role in deciding what questions are (or aren't) asked differs little from a pre-filtered quiz show, a de facto political infomercial.
This may be toleratable in marketing garden compost but we think it's disrespectful to intelligent LB news consumers.
The first event, staged in a TV studio, invited four candidates (all Democrats, three showed up) and was co-hosted by the President of the LB Democratic Club.
A second event, planned at a remote site, includes a request for attendees to "RSVP." If you did that, the website operator now has your email address...and if you begin getting junk emails from the promoter or others likeminded, we'd be interested in hearing about it.
Meanwhile, the website operator has trotted out a L.A. TV news anchor to "moderate" their second event...which in our view only makes matters worse.
A release says the L.A.-based anchor will "also be selecting questions submitted by you" and "will ask all questions. He will have ultimate discretion over the questions to be asked."
But why should LB voters think that a local TV anchor (or Walter Chronike, Dan Rather or Katie Couric) is the proper person to decide what questions we in LB should and shouldn't hear?
And note the spin: the L.A. anchor will "ask all questions" and "have ultimate discretion" over what's asked. That oily verbiage dodges the key point: who decides what questions are in the group from which he chooses the questions? Does that include the LB Democratic Club, as the website operator indicated in two earlier releases?
Last week, we asked ABC7 if it accepted the organizer's ground rules when it agreed to participate in this staged event. Like Dan Rather's team brushing off internet news sources, they haven't answered our question.
Fine. LBReport.com has led on this story for weeks. Our coverage has been solid and we don't need someone from an L.A. TV outlet to legitimize our product...which can stand on its own:
With Audio Coverage: 14 Congressional Candidates (Dems, Repubs, Green, Libertarian) Field Questions At League of Women Voters Forum; LBReport.com Independently Provides Extended Event Coverage
With Audio Coverage: Hear What 14-Candidates Said At June 12 Independent Non-Party Filtered Congressional Candidates Forum:
State Sen. Oropeza: If Elected, I'll Back Sen. Barack Obama's Iraq De-Escalation Act
LBPD Sgt Kanaley Says He'll Be Independent Voice, Reminds Independent-Minded Dems They Can Vote For Him As A Repub
Ass'ywoman Richardson Heard Via Speakerphone From In D.C., Where She Met With...
For The Record: Hear Audio Of What Congressional Candidate/Ass'ywoman Richardson Said At June 7 Compton Forum That Ignited Off-Mike Words, Visible Upset Between Her & State Senator Jenny Oropeza
Extended Event Coverage With Audio: 13 Congressional Candidates (Dems, Repubs, Green, Libertarian) Seeking To Represent 80% of LB Face-Off In Compton; Hear Them On Demand
With Audio Coverage: Congresswoman Maxine Waters Says She Urged Ass'ywoman Richardson To Seek Late Rep. Millender-McDonald's Congressional Seat; Richardson Says Compton, Carson, Latino & Asian Communities Will Deliver For Her & She'll Deliver For Them, Cites Her Experience & Record, Says She's "Tired Of Press Talkin' About This Being A Race Thing"
Audio Event Coverage: First Congressional Candidates Forum Hears, Questions Seven Dems, 1 Repub Who Want To Represent 80% of LB in Congress