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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?


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

WTF???? Does ANYBODY believe that a debate moderator MUST BE COMPLETELY UNBIASED, TOTALLY IMPARTIAL AND COMPLETELY FAIR TO BOTH CANDIDATES? Since the leftist-biased Presidential Debate Commission selects ONLY socialist media d-cRATs to serve as “moderators,” it is not surprising that now everybody wants their own BIASED representative in on the action.

I will not watch the presidential debates for two reasons:

1. I already know the positions of the candidates, and
2. I will not subject myself to the biased questioning and OBOZO-fawning of the unethical, irresponsible, shameless socialist “moderators” who will do everything possible to make OBOZO look OK and Romney look bad.

But I will watch Ryan crush Bite-ME Biden…
Given the way Ryan has intellectually wiped-the-floor with OBOZO on healthcare, I can’t wait for him to debate the even more mentally-challenged half of that team, Bite-Me !!!! Even the d-cRAT stooge of the socialist media who will be the debate “moderator” (aka, “d-cRAT helper”) will be hard pressed to twist and contort the questions to try and give Bite-Me an advantage, since every time the fool opens his mouth he proves that he is, indeed, a fool.

Toss them all. C-Span only. Only C-Span has demonstrated the impartiality and professionalism worthy of the trust of the American people. The Romney team blew it by accepting the premise of this hoary commission and not trying to shake up the process. This was the perfect time. At the very least they should have proposed new formats for debates around the country with local reporters and bloggers and scrapped these MSM walking relics of bias.

DINORightMarie | August 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm

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

You have anyone in mind, Professor? Breitbart is no longer with us, but YOU would be an excellent choice!!! 😉 Or maybe Mark Levin….. 😀

Seriously, your suggestion is the one suggesting *TRUE* diversity. A non-liberal journalist, a non-mainstream MSM moderator?! What a novel, fresh, DIVERSE idea!! /sarc (only partially)

Can someone explain to me why the “presidential debate commission”, an organization for which there is absolutely no rational reason it should NOT be 100% completely non-partisan – selects nobody but mainstream media liberals to be debate moderators ?

How does that even happen ?

    heimdall in reply to deadrody. | August 17, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    I, for one, CANNOT WAIT for the “town hall” “debate” with “regular citizens” asking the questions, like “Mr. President, red or green?” or other hard hitting questions like “Mr. President, what is your favorite workout song?”

    My favorites will come from the “regular citizens” asking questions for Mr. Romney like “Where are the tax returns?” or “Why do you hate black people?/When did you stop/start beating your wife? Why don’t you want to tax the 1%??!!!??!!one!!!eleventy!!!!!??”

    The best part of these debates is that you get to have two liberals against our side and that the moderators get to debate the debaters. AWESOME!!!

Would love to see William Jacobson and/or Richard Fernandez moderate a debate. Class.

How about Thomas Sowell as moderator? Would that blow quite a few minds, or what?

    Spiny Norman in reply to Bill Gannon. | August 17, 2012 at 10:33 pm


    The only question I have is why it took Professor Jacobson’s readers 36 minutes to ask the obvious.


And, for the record it is ABSURD to think people can’t properly evaluate the choice between Obama and Romney without a hispanic serving as a moderator on one of the debates. The CEO of Univision should be ashamed of his idiocy.

Why not kill two birds with one stone and have Walter Williams or Thomas Sowell be one of the moderators?

What? No Cherokee moderator?

Candy Crowley is a woman? Would be in a Maddow-esque way?

What about Gwen Ifill? If blacks make up between 1/8th and 1/10th of the population then they should moderate around 1/8th and 1/10th of the debates. Right?

Who pays attention to these idiots, besides other idiots — and the GOP leadership?

How the GOP ever agreed to these malignant shills as “moderators” (what an ironic choice of words) staggers the imagination. (But apparently not John Boehners’ or Eric “Can’t” Cantors’ or enough people on the Romney campaign.)

We cannot stand for this: we must demand they be replaced.

These complaints are 100% justified. We need an African American as a debate moderator! Here is the man for the job!

    DaMav in reply to EBL. | August 17, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    EBL, you beat me to it but we couldn’t agree more. What an inspiration to the whole country, and persons of all races!

Thomas Sowell

    Came to say that. Never mind.

    nomadic100 in reply to DaMav. | August 18, 2012 at 12:01 am

    Racialists and ethnics don’t really care about the color or ethnicity of debate moderators. Their main concern is the bias they want to flavor the questions asked. Sowell and other conservative blacks/ethnics would ask the wrong questions and so are not useful for the cause. In fact they would undermine the cause.

Henry Hawkins | August 17, 2012 at 6:19 pm

To hell with the moderators. Can we get the Brit Olympic team to handle the stagecraft?

2nd Ammendment Mother | August 17, 2012 at 6:43 pm

Didn’t they have an African American Woman from NPR in 2008?

What ?? No Cherokee moderator ?

Bitterlyclinging | August 17, 2012 at 6:45 pm

“A man that can speak two languages is blessed. A nation that has to speak two languages is cursed.”

Being 1/16th Blackfoot, I’m willing to be available. 😉

Of course, there might be bias…..I’m fond of the truth, law, and calling out liars.

The debates are a waste of time unless they can hook Obama up to a lie detector…

Its all just a bunch of talking points under the guise of addressing issues.
2008 hypnotic speech techniques
2012 professional linguistics jockey

Newt Gingrich had a great idea when he suggested a Lincoln-Douglas style debate with no moderator. That way we would hear the priorities of each candidate rather than those of the media.

Cassandra Lite | August 17, 2012 at 7:06 pm

I wonder what the complainers would say if Thomas Sowell was selected.

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.

Yeah, right. Like some straight whitey can represent the interest of a half hispanic, half multi-racial (asian, nordic, pacific islander, Innuit, American Indian), transgender vegan.

Alex Trebek w/Earth Wind and Fire. (My first choice was Thomas Sowell.)

Henry Hawkins | August 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Penn & Teller

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?

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 […]

Blacks make up approximately 12% of the population.

Conservatives about 40% of the population.

The lack of a conservative moderator is much more glaring.