BREAKING NEWS – Washington, D.C. – With the deadline to qualify for next month’s third round of Democratic presidential debates closing in, the Democratic National Committee is facing an angry chorus of criticism from the candidates not likely to make the cut. At issue is the DNC’s criteria for the contenders to take part in the prime-time showdown, including contributions from 130,000 individual donors and reaching at least 2 percent in four qualifying polls. “The DNC’s process is stifling debate at a time when we need it most,” charged Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado – a lower-tier White House contender who is all but certain not to qualify for the third round. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who also needs a miracle to qualify by the end-of-Wednesday deadline, argued that “these DNC debate rules have turned this primary into the ‘The Hunger Games’ — each step of this seems to be all about getting donors.” DNC chair Tom Perez weighed in on the controversy. “These people apparently contracted the disease that Hillary Clinton had and still has, sore loser-itis!” he angrily began. “I have made the rules in according to who I want to get the nomination, and I have the authority to do that. Most of these suckers know they aren’t going to get the nomination, so what these imbeciles are doing is trying to get more tv time, as an audition to get a job as a commentator, so they can work with some of those idiots on CNN and MSNBC.”