After being excluded from an August 13 Fox News debate, gay GOP candidate Fred Karger filed a complaint Thursday with the Federal Election Commission and hand-delivered a legal complaint to the channel’s headquarters in New York, The Advocate reports.
“I am the first openly gay major party candidate to ever run for President of the United States. I have experienced many doors slammed in my face by individuals and outside political organizations during the past 18 months, but the blatant affront by Fox News executives smacks of discrimination and I hope the Commission will investigate post-haste,” Karger wrote in the complaint.
Fox News barred Karger from participating in the debate of Republican presidential candidates despite the fact that Karger appears to have met the stated qualifications. Karger showed Fox five national polls in which he received the minimum 1 percent needed to qualify, but Fox said the polls were too old or unreliable.
“When I did not meet the criteria for your May 5, 2011 debate in Greenville, South Carolina I did not object,” Karger wrote in a letter to Fox. “When I did not meet CNN’s very specific ‘pre-established objective criteria’ for its June 13, 2011 debate in Manchester, New Hampshire, I did not object then either. But when you changed the criteria after I qualified for the August 13th debate, I strongly object.”
Karger wrote that Fox appears to have changed its criteria specifically in order to exclude him and further alleged that, because he was unfairly excluded, Fox News essentially made illegal donations to the campaigns of the other candidates.
“Since I was not allowed to participate, the debate no longer appears exempt from federal campaign contribution laws. That could mean Fox News Channel has made illegal in-kind campaign contributions to the eight debate participants of upwards of $100 million,” wrote in his letter to Fox.