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Texas Monthly's Paul Burka Not Welcome at KERA's GOP Gubernatorial Debate

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Far as I can tell, Texas Monthly's Paul Burka hasn't mentioned this on his blog, but this morning, the Texas Tribune notes that KERA won't let the political columnist pose questions to the GOP gubernatorial candidates at its January 14 debate. Writes Ross Ramsey, Texas Monthly had been a sponsor, but when it was told to send anyone but Burka, the magazine pulled its name from the brought-to-you-by list. The Monthly's newish editor, Jake Silverstein, says, "We were dismayed at what they decided to do, and surprised, given Paul Burka's involvement in past debates. We stand behind everything he does, and we consider his voice our voice on Texas politics." KERA hasn't had an issue with Burka's involvement in past debates. Then, none of them featured Kay Bailey Hutchison, whose campaign isn't fond of Burka's blog.

"The decision was made internally," KERA spokesperson Meg Fullwood tells Unfair Park this morning. "The decision was made to go with straight reporters, not opinion writers, and the feeling was Paul was moving into opinion with his blog. Texas Monthly and KERA have a good relationship, and we hope to work together again, and if any additional opportunities come up, Paul will be considered. But as far as panelists were concerned, that was the decision." Maybe he could get Debra Medina to plead his case? (Update: Fullwood called to say I misunderstood her. She says she did not say "as far as Paul was concerned," but, instead, "as far as panelists were concerned." The item has been changed to reflect that.)

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