FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:             Contact: Trevor FitzGibbon, Alex Howe

Friday, March 30, 2007                              Fenton Communications, 202.822.5200


Rev. Jesse Jackson Denounces Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s FOX Debate says CBC’s decision is “shamefully out of touch” with Black voters; launches national campaign calling on CBC to reverse course and for presidential candidates to reject Fox debate



Rev. Jesse Jackson today denounced the Congressional Black Caucus Institute’s planned presidential debate partnership with FOX. He called for yesterday’s decision to be reversed and for presidential candidates not to attend a FOX debate.


Jackson said, “I am disappointed by the Congressional Black Caucus Institute's partnership with FOX, and strongly encourage them to reverse that decision.  Why would presidential candidates, or an organization that is supposed to advocate for Black Americans, ever give a stamp of legitimacy to a network that continually marginalizes Black leaders and the Black community? FOX moderating a presidential debate on issues of importance to Black Americans is literally letting the Fox guard the henhouse – FOX should be rejected.”


Fox’s smears against the Black community are compiled in Outfoxed director Robert Greenwald’s new YouTube video called Fox Attacks: Black America – which is located at and has been viewed by over 230,000 people in two weeks.


Yesterday’s decision came after Black Members of Congress and the CBC Institute were contacted by thousands of members of – a 75,000 member online citizen lobby for Black Americans.  Privately, some CBC members expressed that the Fox deal was a bad idea, but not a single member would take a public stand like Jackson did today. 


"The CBC cannot claim to represent Black Americans and at the same time legitimize a network that calls Black churches a cult, implies that Senator Barack Obama is a terrorist, and uses the solemn occasion of Coretta Scott King’s funeral to call Black leaders ‘racist,’” said James Rucker, head of “The CBC Institute’s decision is shamefully out of step with most Black voters -- and now Black voters will hold our leaders accountable and demand they end their partnership with Fox."


Today, an online petition is being launched at demanding the CBC end their partnership with Fox, and asking presidential candidates to reject the Fox debate in favor of CBC Institute’s CNN debate – which has already been announced.


Thousands of new members have joined in recent weeks as the organization started putting pressure on the CBC not to embrace Fox – showing the high energy of this issue.


“Fox has a long history of treating Black people unfairly. They are not a trusted news source for most Black Americans,” added Benjamin Todd Jealous, former executive director of the National Newspaper Publishers Associations (NNPA), a 98-year old federation of more than 200 Black community newspapers.




Key links: petition and Fox Attacks: Black America video:


NYT: Fox Sets 2 Debates With Congressional Black Caucus

Daily Kos: CBC wants to do Fox debate Color of Change versus the CBC Institute  


Jack and Jill: CBC Makes The Wrong Choice on Fox Debates


CBC Institute has announced another debate with CNN