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Despite Koster No-Show, The Show Goes On

Liam Moriarty/KPLU photo.
John Koster is a Republican Snohomish County commissioner, seeking the 2nd Congressional District seat that Democrat Rick Larsen has held for 10 years. Koster narrowly lost to Larsen in 2000.

The buzz from Everett to Bellingham is the snub John Koster delivered to the folks preparing for his debate with Congressman Rick Larsen.  Republican (and Tea Party endorsed) Koster pulled out of the KCTS 9 sponsored debate Wednesday, the day before the taping in Seattle. The reason? Koster claims panelist Jerry Cornfield of The Herald of Everett was biased against him. (The other panelist was to be KPLU's own, Liam Moriarty, who's covered the race). The show must go on, however, and KCTS host Enrique Cerna led a discussion of the expected close race with the two panelists anyway, which aired last night. Cornfield told viewers that he's covered the race closely for months, and has never had a complaint from Koster about his coverage once.

Today, Koster and Larsen WILL debate, before the Marysville Chamber of Commerce. The good folks there are welcoming KCTS's cameras, and the public TV station that serves 2nd District viewers will make it available. 

When a candidate claims "biased" coverage, but produces no examples of what he's upset about, should the organizers change the panel line-up? KCTS said, essentially, 'of course not.' How should journalists and media organizations handle such political theater? The show, you know, must go on....