Reasons to turn down the PBS debate
Jim Gerahty lists several reason why Republicans turned down the Tavis Smiley debate on PBS. They are all worth reading, but I thought the most persuasive is that candidates are trying to reach people voting in Republican primaries and they are a pretty small demographic in Smiley's audience. On top of that they have already faced questions from hostile Democrats like Chris Mathews and George Stephanopolous. Smiley has written a book, Hard Left: Straight Talk About the Wrongs of the Right. That suggest his perspective on questions.
Should Republicans appear at a debate focusing on African-American issues? Sure. Just do it after the fundraising deadline, let Fox News simulcast it with PBS or whoever, and get a panel of moderators/questioners that includes not just Smiley or Gwen Ifill but Deroy Murdock, Thomas Sowell, Ward Connerly, or any other African-American who would not come at the candidates from the left but from the right, and those candidates will come running.Now that would be a debate worth watching. I would add Walter Williams to that list.