Ron Paul ??? excluded from Fox debate by William Westmiller (updated)

Updated: 12.31.07 Westmiller’s latest article: ‘Ron Paul: Fair and Balanced’

Updated: 12.31.07 Here’s the post as it has been updated by the author below the original post.

Dandelion Salad

Please read the comments here and also at the original post for more info. ~ Lo

by William Westmiller
Left Coast Views
Dec. 29, 2007

Some sloppy reporting, instant web indignation, and holiday vacations produced a surge of hysteria that might have been avoided.

One of the hazards of instant mass communication is that incorrect stories can get distributed immediately. A particular hazard during holiday vacations.

There is NO NH DEBATE on January 6th. Ron Paul was NOT EXCLUDED. That event was canceled three weeks ago.

Ron WILL participate in the January 5th ABC/WMUR GOP debate in New Hampshire.

So, what happened?

Months ago, NH GOP chairman Fergus Cullen had been in touch with FoxNews about a possible forum on January 6th. He had even contacted all the GOP candidates to see whether they were available. However, plans for the ABC debate were finalized with all candidates early in December and Cullen “threw in the towel.” See “OUTFOXED” in the NH Union Leader of December 16th.

At that time, Cullen had not received a response from Ron Paul, who had committed to a conflicting luncheon at the Liberty Forum at the same time.

Skip ahead to December 27th, when the Union Leader reported that all candidates had agreed to the ABC/WMUR debate and reporter GARRY RAYNO added a confusing paragraph about Giuliani finally agreeing to the (canceled) January 6th forum, which had already been converted into a simple state GOP brunch.

Due to the timing of this article, there was no way to confirm who will or won’t attend the brunch, but it is not a broadcast debate and has nothing to do with FoxNews. Nevertheless, a blog in Washington picked up the story, scrambled it and their “BHDC Staff” reported a list of the candidates who would be attending, which did not include Ron Paul (he hadn’t officially confirmed, due to the conflict).


Updated version:

[Please see my concluding comment at the bottom of this page.]

One of the hazards of instant mass communication is that incorrect stories can get distributed immediately. A particular hazard during holiday vacations. [***And when those who know the full story and aren’t talking***]

There is NO NH DEBATE on January 6th. Ron Paul was NOT EXCLUDED. That event was canceled three weeks ago.

Jason George of the Baltimore Sun reports at 6:02pm ET 12/30/07:

Fergus Cullen, chairman of the New Hampshire State Republican Committee, confirmed Sunday evening to the Tribune that, yes, there will be a televised Fox News presidential candidate forum on Jan. 6, and yes, Rep. Ron Paul was not invited when the other candidates were a week or so ago.
“My understanding is that five candidates to that point had been offered spots but the event is still coming together,” Cullen said.
The candidates invited to the forum/debate – whatever you want to call it – will be Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. John McCain, Gov. Mitt Romney and Sen. Fred Thompson.
Cullen said the event, which is set to take place two days before the New Hampshire primary, will be held in the afternoon or evening at St. Anselm College in Goffstown, N.H. When asked if Fox News, which is co-sponsoring the debate with the NH party, planned to invite Paul later, Cullen said he didn’t know.
“It’s really premature. Just the other day candidates started to accept invitations.”

The Paul campaign is still in the dark and Fox News is not talking:

On the evening of December 28, Jared Chicoine and Jordan Brown of our New Hampshire campaign staff met in person with Fergus Cullen the New Hampshire GOP chairman to discuss whether or not Dr. Paul would be invited to participate in the forum. Mr. Cullen confirmed there will be an event on January 6, but he could not confirm whether or not Dr. Paul would be invited. We also learned the event would not be a debate with an audience, but instead would be a forum in a closed studio with the candidates questioned only by Chris Wallace of Fox News.

emphasis added – The remainder of this story is no longer relevant]

Ron WILL participate in the January 5th ABC/WMUR GOP debate in New Hampshire.

From the comments:

Posted By: Westmiller
Date: 2007-12-30 23:09:58

1440 minutes writes: “… it appears that Dr. Paul and campaign employees have acted prudently on this issue.

I agree. I’m only disappointed that the campaign staff didn’t confirm the closed studio panel and (still) pending invitation status after the meeting with Mr. Cullen. This article and each update was sent to campaign staff before it was posted, with a request for confirmation. No response was received.

Given the confusing mixture of reports on multiple events, I think my skepticism about the initial AP report was justified, given the circumstances and lack of confirmation or denial.

In hindsight, I may have put too much credence in the clear, concise report of Mr. Cullen’s words on December 16th, which was what prompted the headline and lead paragraphs.

I hope Fox retracts its earlier position promptly. If not, I think Paul supporters have a task that needs doing.

Again, I regret any inconvenience I may have caused the campaign or the thousands of supporters who were seeking the truth with me.

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17 thoughts on “Ron Paul ??? excluded from Fox debate by William Westmiller (updated)

  1. The Nolan Chart article has been retracted. FOX has indeed excluded Ron Paul. But they included Fred Thompson.

    -Fox Affiliate KPTM from Sunday Dec 31st
    -Baltimore Sun article from Sunday Dec 30th
    -AP Article from Thu Dec 27th

    You can get a contact list of people at Fox from

  2. Pingback: Ron Paul in 2008? Just Say No to Dr. No By Jason Miller « Dandelion Salad

  3. “Fox News announced Friday that it was excluding Presidential phenomena Ron Paul from the January 6 Republican Debate in New Hampshire. While giving no official explanation for Dr. Paul’s exclusion, the network did mention that it was allowing the less popular candidate Fred Thompson to appear only after the candidate agreed to let them turn off his microphone when he snored.”

    Details here:

    But of course, the above is a spoof. Just like the spoof launched in the “real” media late Friday that some say was an orchestrated attempt to confuse people about the debate and forum.

    It doesn’t look like it’s working, but it’s always nice to get a chuckle over the clowns at Fox News and their willing accomplices at the AP.

  4. Thanks, Westmiller, will be checking for updates, and I suggested that my readers do the same and to read the comments on your post.

    While I disagree with your conclusion (I’m a Kucinich supporter) I have a big problem with any of the candidates being left off any of the debates/forums that are televised or on the radio. Corporate interests seem to rule in our country, and it shows when candidates are excluded from having their voice being heard by the public.

  5. Thanks for the repost. Please check my article for recent updates:

    I admire the passion of Paul supporters who are anxious to “man the garrisons” in defense of a marvelous candidate. Faux news deserves rebuke for their blatant bias, but running off on a false tangent won’t help the cause.

    I’ll readily grant that the multitude of news stories repeating the outdated and inaccurate AP report are confusing. I welcome any *new* information and hope activists can refocus on the job at hand, which is persuading America that Ron Paul is the only real and credible candidate for President.

  6. So there **IS** a debate/forum/whatever and Ron Paul **IS NOT** being invited.

    I’m amused at the antics of the anti-Ron Paul forces. Anything to avoid a straight up fight.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they will next try to convince us Ron Paul supporters that the election will be held on a different day, just to keep us from showing up at the polls on time.


  7. Thanks again, Chris, much appreciated. It’s an outrage if indeed he has been excluded. That goes for any of the candidates being excluded.

    I’ve been looking for info and haven’t found exactly what I was looking for: a scheduled forum at the college on Jan 6th. If anyone does find something, please put a link here. Thanks so much.

  8. Uhg. I’m sorry. My comment should have read, “There is indeed a forum.” The Dec. 6 event on Fox News is a forum, not a debate. But it is still scheduled, and Ron Paul is not currently invited.

    What a mess.

    Regarding a link, I know it was on yesterday (which contradicts the article). I’m trying to find it.

  9. So what? Even if this is a rumor, the fact that it’s so typical says that a massive stock selloff of NWS should be expected on Monday anyway.

  10. I *just* got off a two-hour phone call with someone who has been in touch with Kent Snyder (chairman of the Ron Paul campaign) and the NH GOP.

    There is indeed a forum. Ron Paul is currently not invited. The “Ron Paul NOT excluded from Fox debate” stories were based on a UL report that had many inaccuracies, and all of this is just making things more confusing for people.

    I’ll say it again: There is indeed a forum. Ron Paul is currently not invited.

  11. The comments to that particular article might be slightly more accurate than the article itself. Time will tell, I think EVERYONE has jumped the gun here a little. Thanks for the post though.

  12. I don’t think anyone was talking about Ron Paul being excluded from a debate… what I had heard from the beginning was that Dr. Paul was being excluded from a forum with Chris Wallace. This is very different from a debate… even the AP reported on it. I think we could be talking about two completely different events.

Comments are closed.