If you’re hoping to watch live footage from Saturday’s South Carolina Democratic Convention—where 21 of the 24 Democratic presidential candidates will speak—you’ve only got one option: MSNBC.
The perplexing decision came direct from the South Carolina Democratic Party and was a surprise to other outlets that had already arrived on the scene to cover it. C-SPAN, CNN and Fox News have all issued complaints, noting that conventions is an open event that typically allows any press organization to cover live.
In particular, C-SPAN’s Political Director Steve Scully is heated over the decision, thinking that it will prove a detriment to the party. In a statement made to Washington Examiner, Scully thinks that the Democratic Party is “shooting itself in the foot” by only allowing MSNBC to cover the event, fearing that the network will cut away from the event to cover other news and interviews.
This raises an important question—will all of the 21 candidates at the event be given equal screen time? Probably not. The Democratic Party has some clear favorites—one of which we think is the peak of American hopelessness MSNBC is likely to cover those candidates more comprehensively.
In the end, the decision to exclusively allow MSNBC live coverage of the convention represents the Democratic Party’s ongoing identity crisis; by preventing access to other networks, the party seems to be honing in on one specific demographic that pays for a cable package, rather than allowing other networks to potentially fold in new voters.
C-SPAN has pulled out from all coverage from the event, and vows to do so for future events sponsored by the South Carolina Democratic Party. Coverage plans from CNN and Fox News are unclear, though both have issued complaints.
How the decision will impact viewership and candidate representation remains to be seen. Stay tuned for more from the South Carolina Democratic Convention.