They’re going to answer the nutroots’ moral objections to the event by inoculating their coverage with the strongest possible dose of absolute moral authority. Simply brilliant. Lefty Garance Franke-Ruta explains the stakes succinctly:

First, while MoveOn and the netroots can go after the Nevada Democratic Party without alienating anyone except Nevada Democrats (one of whom, it should be noted, is the Senate Majority Leader), it is going to be much harder for the largely white netroots to go after the CBC Institute for its debate partner without setting up a very unpleasant intra-party clash between constituency groups, thereby bringing smiles of delight to Fox News and its viewers.

Second, no further candidates will drop out of the Nevada debate for the time being, at the risk of alienating the CBC Institute and losing access to its debates, and to audiences of black voters who will be electoral heavy-weights in the primaries.

And, third — and again, this is if the CBC Institute picks Fox — either Edwards has now shut himself out of the CBC Institute debates, one of which will likely target a Southern audience he needs, or he will have to reverse course on his decision to avoid Fox News debates this cycle.

Via Media Bistro, an anxious Kos gingerly plays the race card and clings to hope that it’s just a ploy the CBC is using to gain leverage with a real network like CNN. I almost don’t have the heart to tell him.

Johnny Dollar has audio of Chris Wallace describing John Edwards’s deep, principled, personal objections to appearing on Fox News. Meanwhile, Hotline searches desperately for veiled threats in Roger Ailes’s comments last night about Edwards skipping the FNC debate and comes up with this:

Any candidate for high office of either party who believes he can blacklist any news organization is making a terrible mistake about journalists.

Says Hotline, “[T]he threat here is that Fox News will somehow treat Edwards differently if he refuses to appear at their debate.” No, the “threat” here is that Fox News won’t treat Edwards differently if he refuses to appear. He’s the one trying to black them out, not vice versa. Ailes’s point is that they’re going to keep covering him regardless. One can imagine these same words coming out of Helen Thomas’s mouth vis-a-vis Bush refusing to call on her for three years, except then they’d be hailed as a stirring statement of journalistic principle from the dean of the White House press corps. As it is, Olby will probably wring a few more fat jokes out of it.

Exit question: “If you are afraid of journalists, how will you face the real dangers in the world?”

Update: Bill Richardson was the one major Democratic candidate who’d committed to the Nevada debate — and now, suddenly, he’s out. Everyone’s eating out of Kos’s dog bowl.

Update: KP always gives me static about equating the nutroots with the Democratic Party at large. Let’s see what she says now.

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Update: HuffPo says they can confirm that the Dems have pulled out. I’m sure they can. They probably ordered them to do it.

Update: Here’s video of another left-wing Fox-“hater” in the Edwards mold. The video is from November; he’ll be singing a different tune soon.