Most Read
    Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

    Presidential debate commission under attack again, this time on race

    Presidential debate commission under attack again, this time on race

    Just as the media had finished congratulating itself for selecting a woman, CNN’s Candy Crowley, as one of the 2012 presidential debate moderators for the first time in 20 years, there is now an outcry over the lack of African American representation among the moderators.

    A group of black journalists says it is disappointed in the lack of ethnic diversity among the people chosen to moderate presidential debates.

    The National Association of Black Journalists said Friday that the Commission on Presidential Debates needed to stop treating black reporters as if they were unqualified, invisible or both. The group said diversity was important in a year in which as much as a quarter of the electorate is expected to be non-white.

    Earlier in the week, Spanish-language network Univision had devoted part of its broadcast to a request that Obama and Romney participate in a forum on their network after a letter was sent by the President and CEO of the company expressing “disappointment on behalf of the millions of Hispanics who do not have a voice in the upcoming presidential debates.”

    The Commission on Presidential Debates chooses who will moderate debates and responded to Univision’s concerns with the following statement:

    We recognize that there are many organizations and individuals who wish they had been included in our moderator selection. Debate arithmetic means that it is impossible to accommodate all of them. However, we strongly believe that the four journalists we have named see their assignment as representing all Americans in their choice of topics and questions. The general election debates have always focused on issues of national interest that affect all citizens, including Univision’s audience. We have met with Univision about joint efforts to get the largest number of people possible engaged in discussing and learning from the debates, and remain interested in working with you toward that goal.

    While everyone’s complaining, how about having a debate moderator outside the circle of mainstream media trust?


    Donations tax deductible
    to the full extent allowed by law.



    Spiny Norman | August 17, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Univision expressed “disappointment on behalf of the millions of Hispanics who do not have a voice in the upcoming presidential debates.”

    Is it that they “don’t have a voice” because they are not in this country legally? Are those the millions they’re talking about? What are they saying, perhaps that white or black liberals can’t speak for hispanic liberals? Are they endorsing balkanization? Tokenism?

    Estragon | August 17, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Moderators and panelists should NOT have any role in Presidential debates at all. Have a referee as a timekeeper only to ensure both candidates have the same total amount of air time, sit them at a table, and let them go at each other alternatively.

    No artificial limits on statements, though. Let each ask or answer questions of/from the other or not, as he sees fit. But once your half of the “debate time” is over, you can say no more and the opponent speaks until the end, perhaps except for a reserved five minute closing for each.

    The timekeeping could work like a digital chess clock. Each side is set for a total of say 35 minutes, not including the opening and closing statements. The first to speak is determined by coin flip, his clock starts to tick down until he is finished, then the opponent’s clock starts. When either gets to 00:00, he can say no more until closing remarks.

    A real discussion on the issues the candidates think are important, with only the public as the judge, and NO influence by moderators or questioners.

    […] by a group of people so fond of calling others racists for ‘not enough diversity’.  Legal Insurrection has the […]

    LukeHandCool | August 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Blacks make up approximately 12% of the population.

    Conservatives about 40% of the population.

    The lack of a conservative moderator is much more glaring.

    Leave a Comment

    Leave a Reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.

    Notify me of followup comments via e-mail (or subscribe without commenting.)

    Font Resize
    Contrast Mode
    Send this to a friend