Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The presidential debates -- ABC snubbed

The moderators for the presidential and vice presidential debates were released yesterday. They are: Tom Brokaw, Bob Scheiffer, Jim Lehrer, and Gwen Ifill. The first problem we have with this line-up is it's the "Old Codger Crew." They are, respectively, 68, 71, 73, and 52 years old. It's also worth noting that ABC has been snubbed from the debates; a fact that the New York Post picked up on today:

AN esteemed group of TV jour nalists, but no one from ABC News, has been chosen to moderate this fall's presidential debates - raising eyebrows in the industry.

NBC's Tom Brokaw, CBS' Bob Schieffer and PBS' Jim Lehrer will moderate the upcoming debates between
Barack Obama and John McCain. PBS' Gwen Ifill will moderate the vice-presidential debate.

But the absence of anyone from ABC has some insiders wondering if the network was snubbed due to last April's Obama-
Hillary Clinton primary debate, moderated by Charlie Gibson and ex-Clinton staffer-turned-ABC Newser George Stephanopoulos.

Gibson and Stephanopoulos were criticized, in some quarters, for turning the debate into an ambush-style interview, not a substantive discussion of the issues.

But Janet Brown, the executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates - the non-partisan body that organizes the events - said that's not the case.

The debate, last spring, she said, "Was not a factor in this decision. This should not be seen as a decision not in favor of any news organization."

Brown said the moderators are chosen by committee by virtue of their individual professional acumen, grasp of the issues and the "understanding that they are there to facilitate a conversation between the candidates, not [to] compete with them." A moderator's network affiliation is not a consideration, she said.

Now we don't know if the excuse is true, and the moderators were chosen as Ms. Brown claims, but it is interesting that the other two networks are covered, and PBS is covered twice (both Lehrer and Ifill are PBS newscasters). But here's our question for the group that decides this: Why isn't anyone from New Media involved in this? 147 million Americans have computers, and close to 100 million use the Internet daily. Approximately 70-80 million people get their news from the Internet, be it blogs or MSM sources. So why are they tapping the "Old Codger Crew" to moderate the debates? Are they hoping to put the audience to sleep so they don't catch the stuttering man of "hope" and "change"? It might be.

But if we could make that decision, we have a line-up that's better, and would appeal to a wide swatch of voters.

Mike Allen and Jonathan Martin from Politico.
Kathryn Jean Lopez and Jim Geraghty of National Review.
Neil Cavuto of FOX Business News, and Jake Tapper of ABC News.
John McIntyre of RealClearPolitics, and Marc Halperin of TIME.

(Lopez and Geraghty would handle the veep debates.)

It's time for the media to recognize the shift that's occurred. No one wants to see the "Old Codger Crew" questioning our candidates. We want people who are going to be hard-hitting, and will get the answers Americans want to hear. Someday, maybe, media will wake up. Until then, we'll be taking the No-Doz to make sure we don't nod off during these four debates.

Publius II


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