Political writer barred from KERA debate

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“Snarky” blog postings by Paul Burka, senior executive editor of the Texas Monthly, disqualify him as a panelist for next month’s televised debate between Republican gubernatorial candidates Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Gov. Rick Perry, a spokeswoman for Dallas’s KERA-TV tells the Texas Tribune. KERA, chief sponsor of the debate among several media outlets, invited the magazine to appoint a panelist, just not Burka; the magazine declined to send anyone and dropped out as a sponsor. The Tribune suggests that Hutchinson’s campaign leaned on KERA to ban Burka, who has been “a fixture” in the state’s political debates since the late 1980s. “We were dismayed at what they decided to do, and surprised, given Paul Burka’s involvement in past debates,” Texas Monthly Editor Jake Silverstein tells the Tribune. “We stand behind everything he does, and we consider his voice our voice on Texas politics.”

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