Green Congressional Candidate Ian Murphy Insults Debate Organizers, Loses Invitation

From the Associated Press:

Three candidates running for New York’s open upstate congressional seat will debate for the first time next week.

Democrat Kathleen Hochul (HOH’-kuhl), Republican Jane Corwin and Tea Party candidate Jack Davis will meet in Buffalo May 12.

They and Green Party candidate Ian Murphy are competing in the 26th District vacated by Republican Christopher Lee…An April Siena College poll showed Corwin leading Hochul 36 percent to 31 percent. Davis had 23 percent and Murphy, 1 percent. Murphy says he was excluded from the WGRZ-TV sponsored debate after insulting a WGRZ anchor on his Buffalo Beast blog. The station confirms the invitation was rescinded.

Murphy explains how he insulted the debate organizers in a press release:

The news came in a letter from Jeff Woodard, WGRZ-TV’s News Director, only days after Murphy received an invitation to the debate, hand-delivered by Scott Levin himself, with only one day left to RSVP.

The letter had been dated April 15th, but was delivered on the 28th. When Murphy still managed to respond in time, the “2 on your side” team was forced to come up with another excuse to exclude Murphy.

At issue appears to be a satirical account of the Levin encounter that Murphy posted at, a political humor website for which he serves as Editor-in-Chief.

“In that blog,” wrote WGRZ’s Woodard, “you wrote about Scott delivering you the invitation, and refer to Scott as a ‘tall, orange robot.’ … You also greatly distorted the conversation you had with Scott to the point of turning it into a vulgar satire.”

Vulgarity notwithstanding, Ian Murphy is a well-known political satirist, and there is simply no way the people at WGRZ didn’t already know that. Their objection appears to stem only from the fact that Murphy hurt their feelings.

This is just another example of the local media blackout on Murphy’s candidacy, along with his recent exclusion from candidate profiles featured in the Buffalo News. While the national media has covered Murphy’s campaign, our local press prefers to ignore him, and keep its audience in the dark.

“Like me or not, what WGRZ-TV has done here is an insult to our democracy,” Ian Murphy said in reaction to the letter. “And I apologize for my innacurate portrayal of Scott Levin. He’s not that tall.”

Here is an excerpt from the letter the station sent rescinding the invite:

That indication was supported this past weekend with your latest post on your latest Buffalo Beast blog, dated April 29th. In that blog, you wrote about Scott delivering you the invitation, and refer to Scott as a “tall, orange robot.” You wrote that you were “stoned,” and “a little drunk.” You referred to Scott Levin’s face as “covered with wierd [sic] orange puddy?” You made crude references to the condition of your home. You also greatly distorted the conversation you had with Scott to the point of turning it into a vulgar satire.

You make it clear in the way you present yourself that you are not a serious candidate in this race. WGRZ-TV, the other candidates, and the residents of the 26th congressional district ARE taking this race seriously. As such, we no longer offer you an invitation to the May 12th debate.

14 thoughts on “Green Congressional Candidate Ian Murphy Insults Debate Organizers, Loses Invitation

  1. pete healey

    I don’t like the media assholes either, but for chris’sakes, does this Murphy guy ever get serious, or have any politics at all?

  2. Eddie

    Ahh, Ive been wanting to help him out as a Green, but like with most third parties, everything takes forever and it looks like I will not get those phone numbers to help him phonebank. At first I really liked the humor, but many people have mentioned their concern about his seriousness, which has made me somewhat question about how effective a humorous campaign is.

  3. Kimberly Wilder

    WGRZ TV’s position is laughable.

    Did they explain why the invitation was so late?

    Also, calling someone an “orange robot” is a pretty effective communication tool. It ain’t slander. But, it made people sit up and take notice.

    Third party candidates and independent candidates need to be invited to debates. If someone is on the ballot, the press should not discriminate. End of story.

    Press organizations or civic groups are not in charge of punishing candidates for being alternative, or comical.

  4. Kimberly Wilder

    In answer to the question of will Ian Murphy ever be serious, here are some of his thoughts posted at Green Party of NY State website:


    The bad man is dead, but I don’t feel like celebrating. I’m pleased many Americans feel that justice has been done, but the slaying of our own monster offers me little joy. It’s a bittersweet victory, observed through the lens of history.

    It’s been 32 years since the CIA first sold arms to Osama bin Laden and the mujahideen. Before 9/11. Before the Cole and the African embassy bombings. Before the Soviets ever set foot in Afghanistan. Our dead arch-villain was an ally. Let us never forget…
    (end quote)

    Rest of quote:

  5. Kimberly Wilder

    An update:

    Buffalo, NY (WBEN) Tea Party candidate, Jack Davis says he would like to have all the candidates for the NY 26th Congressional seat participate in Thursday’s televised debate. Ian Murphy, the Green Party candidate, is not being allowed to take part and Davis, in a statement issued today notes, “In a democracy, all citizens should have a voice, and all candidates should be heard. (end quote)

  6. Kimberly Wilder

    Poll with Ian Murphy:

    Ian Murphy shows up in a poll with 2%.

    That is actually good for a third party candidate in a federal race. The numbers could go up a lot with some exposure, and/or people at the voting booth rejecting the major party choices and looking for a protest vote.

    …of a new poll conducted by the Public Policy Institute and sponsored by the SEIU union for public employees and the liberal Daily Kos website showing Hochul with 35 percent, Corwin with 31 percent, Davis with 24 percent and Green Party candidate Ian Murphy with 2 percent. (end quote)

  7. pete healey

    @Kim Wilder, next time you want to call me a colorful animal from another continent than this one, check in with “Eddie” from comment #7. He’s apparently much closer to the “Murph” than either of us.

  8. Kimberly Wilder

    Okay, so Eddie is an orange hippopotamus.

    But, you, Pete Healey, are still a purple kangaroo!


    And, WGRZ should not be able to take-back a debate invitation based on comments such as the above.

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