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Banned: Fox, CNN, C-Span Denied Live Coverage of South Carolina Democratic Convention

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On Wednesday, the South Carolina Democratic Party officially banned every news outlet — except MSNBC — from live-streaming the South Carolina Democratic Convention, where 21 presidential candidates are set to speak.

CNN, Fox News, and C-SPAN, who were all preparing to cover one of the largest events hosted by Democrats this year, have all been barred from airing the event, according to the Washington Examiner.

MSNBC’s exclusive right to live-stream the event was announced through an email from the Democratic party to media outlets.

There was no explanation as to why the ban was enacted.

“IMPORTANT: MSNBC has exclusive rights to broadcast the 2019 South Carolina Democratic Convention. Any footage of the convention taken by other outlets may not be aired live, and is EMBARGOED FOR THREE HOURS after the close of the convention. This embargo includes any live-streaming from social media platforms,” said the party’s press office.

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It’s worth noting that the event is not a debate — debates are usually hosted by a single, sponsored network.

This gathering on Saturday will be a convention and, in the past, conventions have been a venue where the press can roam freely and capture whatever might be worth showing to their television audiences.

“Never has what is an open event given exclusive rights to a single network,” C-SPAN political director Steve Scully told the Washington Examiner.

“We’ll deal with 49 other state Democratic Parties. It’s ridiculous. It’s an open event,” he said. “We’re not happy.”

Should all networks be allowed to air the South Carolina Democratic Convention?

On Twitter, former Fox News host Greta Van Susteren speculated whether or not money might be involved in the last-minute exclusivity deal.

“Makes me wonder … is money being exchanged between MSNBC and DNC? How does CSPAN get banned?” Van Susteren said.

“This hurts MSNBC — DNC not even pretending MSNBC is fair and has journalists,” she continued.

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This is a perplexing move by the South Carolina Democratic Party as MSNBC’s core audience already leans left.

This convention would be a great opportunity to present the party’s 2020 candidates through networks with viewers in the middle and on the right — not unlike Fox News hosting multiple town halls for Democratic candidates and getting them exposure for an audience they usually wouldn’t be able to reach.

But in typical fashion, the party decided that a liberal echo-chamber is the best route to pursue.

Can you imagine if the Republican National Committee and Fox News pulled a similar stunt during the GOP convention in 2016?

Let’s just say the response wouldn’t have been pretty.

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Ryan Ledendecker is a freelance journalist and writer. He began reporting news and writing commentary during the 2014 Ferguson riots. Prior to that, he worked as a web editor and columnist for an award-winning local newspaper.
Ryan Ledendecker is a freelance writer covering politics and breaking news. He previously worked as a columnist and web editor for an award-winning local newspaper. When he's not writing, he's honing his competitive BBQ skills. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Truth Social.
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