September 02 2010 – TAMPA – Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Alex Snitker did not make the cut to be included in the nationally-televised debate scheduled this Sunday on NBC’s Meet The Press. According to NBC, Snitker did not meet their criteria for inclusion in the debate for Florida’s Senate seat, however they did not elaborate on what the exact criteria are.
Snitker, who has earned a reputation as the feisty, grassroots underdog in this race, did not take NBC’s snub lying down. Within hours of getting word that he would be excluded, the former U.S. Marine launched a fund raising drive for the purpose of buying television ad slots during Meet The Press in Florida television markets.
According to Adrian Wyllie, the campaign media director, the ad will run in several Florida markets during the Sunday show, and will claim that the debate is a “travesty of the democratic process.” Though the ad has been produced and the stations have been paid for the air time, the campaign has not yet received confirmation from the affiliates that it will air.
Snitker supporters are also planning protests outside of NBC affiliate stations in several cities across the state on Sunday. Volunteer coordinator Bev Baker said, “Even people who would not normally get involved have contacted us wanting to do something about this. They see it as an assault on free speech by the media, of all people.”
In addition, Snitker’s legal council is planning to file an emergency motion for temporary injunction against Meet The Press in a last-ditch effort to be included in the debate. Should the injunction be granted by a judge, the debate may not air at all. Wyllie noted that further legal action may be taken if the NBC affiliates reject the TV ads.
Ilana Drimmer, the booker for Meet The Press, has said that her email in-box has been flooded with messages from Snitker supporters requesting that he be included in the debate. However, thus far, NBC has held their ground and has limited to the debate to Marco Rubio (R), Kendrick Meek (D) and Charlie Crist (NPA). Crist, however, has decided to decline the invitation.
“We are just looking for a level playing field and to have the same opportunity as the other candidates to debate this issues,” said Snitker.