PBSGOP

By Matthew Sheffield | September 28, 2007 | 2:40 PM EDT

Last night's GOP presidential forum was marked by a lack of attendence from the top candidates who said they couldn't come due to "scheduling conflicts."

Could the real reason they didn't come was that the debate moderator, liberal PBS host Tavis Smiley, has a long history of making offensive remarks about Republicans?

Attending the debate in person, I decided to ask that question to Smiley, specifically about his remark that he considered then-Texas-governor George W. Bush to be a "serial killer" for his enforcement of that state's capital punishment laws. His answer was both misleading and evasive.

By Matthew Sheffield | September 25, 2007 | 11:07 AM EDT

This Thursday, PBS is hosting a Republican presidential debate with liberal commentator Tavis Smiley. For various reasons, the top four GOP candidates have all decided to skip it. In doing so, they are making a big mistake, my friend Bob Cox argues in today's DC Examiner. Here's an excerpt. My comments are below the fold:

One by one, the four leading candidates for the Republican nomination for president have announced they will not participate. This is not only a strategic mistake for these campaigns but also a major embarrassment for the Republican Party.

How can voters take seriously a candidate asking for their support to be leader of the free world when that same candidate is unwilling to take questions from black journalists, in front of a predominantly black audience? [...]