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President's Message (Astrid Monson)
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Press Release

The League of Women Voters of Honolulu today expressed its outrage at the Advertiser/Channel 2's arranging in advance for Mayoral Candidate Jeremy Harris to have free time to rebut Arnold Morgado and Frank Fasi after the debate he refused to participate in on September 18. His rebuttal followed immediately upon the end of the debate. Obviously, cameras and reporters were waiting in Harris' office to conduct the interview.

Reacting to the storm of protest which followed, Channel 2 offered time' to Morgado and Fasi on the September 19, 10 o'clock news to answer Harris's September 18 statement. This in no way, the League alleges, was adequate, as the viewership for the advertised debate was in all probability far greater than for a routine news broadcast.

This is an example of situations that can occur when the media venture into creating news in addition to reporting_ news which is their true role and responsibility.

Fundamentally, the League feels that Channel 2 was wrong in making an editorial decision to permit any one of the three candidates to dodge the debate and then have an exclusive opportunity to reply to those who demonstrated their willingness to go before the public in a no-holds-barred genuine discussion of the issues. Had either of the other two candidates refused to participate in the debate, would the same privilege have been given to them?

We hope that the debates conducted by any TV station or newspaper in connection with the General Election on November 5 will offer fair and equal opportunity to all candidates and not repeat the procedure followed on September 18, which so obviously favored one of them.

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