South Carolina Dems Bar Major News Outlets From Convention

June 18, 2019

The South Carolina Democratic Party is limiting coverage of its state party convention to MSNBC, barring C-SPAN, CNN, and Fox News from covering the event live.

C-SPAN has pulled out of the convention, while CNN has filed a complaint, the Washington Examiner reports. Twenty-one presidential candidates are expected to speak at the event.

"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," according to a release from the state party.

C-SPAN political director Steve Scully said the Democratic Party was "shooting itself in the foot" by limiting live coverage.

"Maybe they think that they are going to get better coverage. But they are losing out on Fox, C-SPAN and CNN who all intended to carry parts of the speeches live," Scully added. "Live is a key factor. We could put it on Sunday, but by that point, who cares?"

Scully said he told the party "in no uncertain terms you better think long and hard before you reach out to us to cover something else."

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

This is not the first time the Democratic Party, or one of its state affiliates, has barred specific outlets from 2020 campaign events.

In March, the Democratic National Committee announced it had excluded Fox News from its list of networks hosting Democratic primary debates. Despite the ban, several Democratic candidates have done town halls on Fox News. Sen. Bernie Sanders's (I., Vt.) and South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg's Fox News town halls performed better than their respective CNN town halls.