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?