A joke made Thursday night by Fox chairman Roger Ailes has led to the state Democratic Party of Nevada canceling a debate among the Democratic contenders for the White House. The debate, which was cosponsored by Fox News, was to be held on August 14 in Reno. Ailes made the joke Thursday night at the Radio and Television News Directors Foundation First Amendment Dinner.

“It’s true that Barack Obama is on the move,” Ailes said during the speech. “I don’t know if it’s true that President Bush called Musharraf and said ‘Why can’t we catch this guy?”‘ Almost immediately, Democratic contender John Edwards dropped out of the debate and liberal activist group Moveon.org called for a boycott on Fox. A letter sent to Fox, by Nevada State Democratic Party Chairman Tom Collins and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said that Ailes, “went too far” with his comments. “We cannot, as good Democrats, put our party in a position to defend such comments,” Collins and Reid said in the letter.

“We take no pleasure in this, but it the only course of action.” Fox News Vice President David Rhodes responded with a written statement criticizing the Democrats for caving in to MoveOn.org.. “News organizations will want to think twice before getting involved in the Nevada Democratic Caucus, which appears to be controlled by radical fringe out-of-state interest groups, not the Democratic Party.”

To me, it appears that the joke was directed at President Bush and not Obama. Either the Democratic Party of Nevada realized that having their debate cosponsered by right wing Fox News was not such as great idea and wanted a way out, or this is another example of the politically correct police striking again. Either way this seems like everyone on both sides is overreacting.

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