Executives at Arizona PBS, which is giving Democrat gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs a one-on-one interview against the direction of the Clean Elections Commission, have a history of publicizing their biases for Democrats, including Hobbs, and against Republicans.
Arizona’s Republican gubernatorial nominee, Kari Lake, was set to take the debate stage alone on Wednesday for a one-on-one interview with Arizona PBS. The CEC established the Q&A with Arizona PBS because Hobbs, the secretary of state, refused to meet Lake on the debate stage, and the commission elected not to give the Democrat her own exclusive interview with the state-funded broadcasting station. Hours before Lake’s scheduled interview, news broke that PBS Arizona granted Hobbs her own interview against the CEC’s decision.
On Thursday, the Arizona Republic’s Stacey Barchenger brought to light recent pro-Hobbs and anti-Lake social media posts from Mi-Ai Parrish, who is the “managing director of [Arizona State University’s] Media Enterprise, which includes Arizona PBS.”
In one post from August, Parrish retweeted an advertisement from the Lincoln Project that targets Lake for saying the federal government should be “fired.” Parrish also “reposted a message that said ‘VOTE for KATIE HOBBS for Governor,’” according to Barchenger. Parrish did not disclose who made the decision at PBS to grant Hobbs an interview but said it was an “institutional decision.”
Breitbart News has unearthed tweets from Ebonye Delaney, a senior director and content officer at Arizona PBS, in which she calls Fox News host Tucker Carlson a racist and makes her leftist political biases crystal clear.
Call it what it is! Call them who they are! It’s Racism…. They are Racists! https://t.co/XIeDf6YRs0
— Ebonye Delaney (@eldelaney) August 27, 2020
In August 2020, after Carlson said Kyle Rittenhouse “decided to maintain order when no one else would,” during the Kenosha, Wisconsin riots, CNN analyst April Ryan asked in a tweet,” Why is anyone shocked [Carlson] is a racist?”
“Call it what it is! Call them who they are! It’s Racism…. They are Racists!” wrote Delaney in a retweet of Ryan’s post.
She retweeted Ryan again in August 2020 during the Republican National Committee’s Convention in which the CNN analyst called black Trump surrogates and supporters “misguided Black people.” Ryan tweeted:
The #RNCConvetion2020 keeps trotting out these misguided Black people in an effort to show they’re not racist; but this white-savior narrative that many of these people are perpetuating plays to the same racial stereotypes! I’m offended as a Black Woman! #RNC2020.
She shared yet another Ryan tweet months earlier, in which she claimed Trump “has exhibited being the personification of” a racist. Delaney wrote, “People need to continue to speak Truth to Power!”
People need to continue to speak Truth to Power! https://t.co/EW6qzXLSCg
— Ebonye Delaney (@eldelaney) June 23, 2020
— Ebonye Delaney (@eldelaney) September 30, 2020
After the CEC learned of Hobbs’ PBS interview, which will take place next week, officials announced that they postponed Lake’s interview “and will identify a new venue, partner, and date when the interview will be broadcast.”
In a statement, ASU president Michael Crow said it was not his decision to grant Hobbs the exclusive, as the Arizona Agenda reported.
“But I did indicate that we need to continue to fulfill our mission of unbiased and non-partisan coverage of public figures and talk to important people in the public realm like Lake and Hobbs to have the public learn of their views, even if there is no debate,” he added.
Tom Collins, the CEC’s executive director, blasted Crow:
Dr. Crow is the most powerful man in Arizona outside of Gov. Doug Ducey. Dr. Crow should not be allowed to simply pretend like he can just make a suggestion. Everyone in this state knows that what Dr. Crow says goes. That is as much as an admission as Jack Nicholson on the stand in “A Few Good Men.”
Lake held a press conference outside of Arizona PBS at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism building on Wednesday and blasted Hobbs, the university, and PBS.
“Unfortunately, I’m running against a coward who’s afraid to stand on the debate stage and talk about what she wants to do for Arizona,” said Lake. “And unfortunately, PBS and ASU have done a backroom deal with that coward to give her airtime that she does not deserve.”
“I need to remind people that it is we, the taxpayers, who own PBS and who own ASU. This is not the DNC that owns this, and what’s going on here is absolutely wrong,” she added.
On Thursday, her campaign penned a letter to three entities, stating the station and university “betrayed not only the [CEC], but every voter in Arizona by going behind the backs of citizens to allow Hobbs to continue dodging a debate.”
If PBS will host a real debate next week between me and @KatieHobbs on stage, I will clear my schedule (again) and be there.
They have until noon tomorrow to decide.
We’re waiting. pic.twitter.com/oGlXg24hCI
— Kari Lake (@KariLake) October 14, 2022
“Kari Lake will clear her schedule again for the third time to debate Hobbs on Tuesday should Hobbs find the courage,” the letter added. “She will not participate in any other format other than a debate, where both Lake and Hobbs are sharing a debate stage together.”