Speed Reads

Getting Blown Out of Proportion

CNN to Charlie Crist: No fan allowed at our Florida debate!

CNN is laying down the law in the Florida gubernatorial race: Democratic nominee (and formerly Republican governor of Florida) Charlie Crist may not bring his electric fan onstage at the debate it is hosting this Tuesday in Jacksonville.

The cable news outlet is now explaining this rule, stemming from a memo sent to the campaigns on Oct. 8:

The memo stated: "There will be no opening and closing statements, no notes, no props and no electronic devices will be allowed on stage. Candidates will be provided water, notepad and pen," a CNN spokesperson said Thursday.

The CNN spokesperson said electronic devices range from a cell phone to a fan. [CNN]

The debate last night got delayed by a most peculiar event, when Republican Gov. Rick Scott initially did not come out on stage after Crist insisted on placing his cooling fan underneath his podium, as he usually does for public appearances. This mini-hullabaloo has since become known as "Fangate" in the online world.

As CNN also reports, debate organizers now say that Scott was not pulling out of the debate itself — though they concede that "there undoubtedly was some confusion" among the various people communicating with each other. Instead, they say, Scott was simply waiting for the fan matter to be resolved by the moderators. Ultimately, after several awkward minutes, Scott did take his place at his podium — and Crist kept his fan.

Scott has tried to turn the delay back on Crist, accusing his opponent of "throwing a fit" over keeping his fan.