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First Victory: CNN Frees the Debates

Jeff Jarvis

The wall has cracked. CNN has announced that -- unlike MSNBC -- it will open up the debates it is hosting in June under a Creative Commons license. No restrictions. Now that's the ticket. The release:

CNN to Make Presidential Debate Footage Available without RestrictionsAs previously announced, CNN will team up with Hearst-Argyle's WMUR-TV and the New Hampshire Union Leader to host two presidential debates to be held in America's first primary state. The debate featuring Democratic candidates will be held on Sunday, June 3, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and the Republican debate will be held on Tuesday, June 5, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Due to the historical nature of presidential debates and the significance of these forums to the American public, CNN believes strongly that the debates should be accessible to the public. The candidates need to be held accountable for what they say throughout the election process.

The presidential debates are an integral part of our system of government, in which the American people have the opportunity to make informed choices about who will serve them. Therefore, CNN debate coverage will be made available without restrictions at the conclusion of each live debate.

We believe this is good for the country and good for the electoral process. This decision will apply to all of CNN's presidential debates, beginning with the upcoming New Hampshire debates in June.

(via Slashdot)

Separately, I just noticed that when John Edwards called on the networks to do just this, he didn't call on one network: FoxNews. That's not an oversight. It's a coy slap on Fox, whom various Democrats are trying to boycott in debate season.

Hmmm. It's hard to call for open debates and then close out one of the networks and its audience, isn't it?

I have asked FoxNews what their policy will be regarding rights of whatever debates they do hold.

By washingtonpost.com Editors |  May 7, 2007; 1:54 PM ET Debates
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