GOP candidates inadvertently validate media control of debates

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Remember when the Republican presidential candidates were going to unite and assert themselves, elbowing aside the media and the Republican National Committee to seize control of the debate process? That was way back on … Friday?

Oh, they had such plans, such glorious plans. In their draft list of demands, they insisted that candidates be granted “pre-approval of any graphics and bios” used in the broadcast. (I can see it now: “Jeb Bush: Greatest governor in Florida history”, standing next to “Donald Trump: Babe magnet”) They wanted to outlaw candidate-to-candidate questions, “lightning round” questions, questions requiring a yes or no answer.  So-called “gotcha questions” in general were to be avoided, and they also wanted to ban reaction shots of the audience and moderators, or shots of the candidates referring to their notes.

Oh, and they wanted to be guaranteed both opening and closing statements, with Ben Carson at one point proposing that each candidate be given up to five minutes of uninterrupted time. With 10 candidates, that alone would eat up at least half of a two-hour debate. That would certainly be convenient for candidates who want to minimize the risk of saying something dumb or ill–informed, but it would not meet the needs of voters trying to get a feel for character, response to pressure and basic policy knowledge.

Not surprisingly, the reaction to such demands was universally harsh. As Megyn Kelly of Fox News put it mockingly, the candidates were demanding everything but a foot massage. And then there was this guy:

Look, it’s true that the media at times are more interested in provoking conflict and drama than in producing insight — conflict drives ratings, ratings drive ad dollars, ad dollars drive salaries. That’s not ideology, that’s capitalism.¹ But it is also true that when the media go overboard in that direction, as CNBC did, public response will let them know it. That’s as it should be.

And overall, I think this abortive revolt has made an important point. It has ended up proving that the one thing worse than a debate system run by the media would be a debate system that is controlled by the campaigns.

———————

¹ It is of course standard GOP theory that the media are out to get them, a subset of their larger sense that the whole world is out to get them.  That theory also holds that news outlets such as CNN would never ask tough questions of Democrats.

However, I don’t think that theory holds up under an honest look at questions directed at Democrats during the recent CNN debate:

Secretary Clinton, I want to start with you. Plenty of politicians evolve on issues, but even some Democrats believe you change your positions based on political expediency. You were against same-sex marriage.  Now you’re for it.  You defended President Obama’s immigration policies.  Now you say they’re too harsh.  You supported his trade deal dozen of times.  You even called it the “gold standard”.  Now, suddenly, last week, you’re against it. Will you say anything to get elected?”

Senator Sanders,  a Gallup poll says half the country would not put a socialist in the White House.  You call yourself a democratic socialist.  How can any kind of socialist win a general election in the United States?

Secretary Clinton, Russia — they’re challenging the U.S. in Syria. According to U.S. intelligence, they’ve lied about who they’re bombing. You spearheaded the reset with Russia. Did you underestimate the Russians, and as president, what would your response to Vladimir Putin be right now in Syria?

Senator Webb, you said as president you would never have used military force in Libya and that the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was, in your words, “inevitable.”  Should Secretary Clinton have seen that attack coming?

Secretary Webb, you served in Vietnam.  You’re a Marine.  Once a Marine, always a Marine.  You served as a Marine in Vietnam.  You’re a decorated war hero.  You eventually became secretary of the Navy. During the Vietnam War, the man standing next to you, Senator Sanders, applied for status as a conscientious objector.  Given his history, can he serve as a credible commander-in-chief?

Secretary Clinton, you are going to be testifying before Congress next week about your e-mails. For the last eight months, you haven’t been able to put this issue behind you.  You dismissed it; you joked about it; you called it a mistake.  What does that say about your ability to handle far more challenging crises as president?

(And the followup): Secretary Clinton, Secretary Clinton, with all due respect, it’s a little hard – I mean, isn’t it a little bit hard to call this just a partisan issue?  There’s an FBI investigation, and President Obama himself just two days ago said this is a legitimate issue.

Secretary Clinton, how would you address this issue (of income inequality)?  In all candor, you and your husband are part of the 1 percent.  How can you credibly represent the views of the middle class?

Senator Sanders, in 2013, you voted for immigration reform.  But in 2007, when Democrats controlled Congress and the Bush White House was onboard, you voted against it. Why should Latino voters trust you now when you left them at the altar at the moment when reform was very close?

Senator Sanders, you talked about your record on the Veteran Affairs Committee. You served on that committee for the last eight years, including two years as its chairman while veterans died waiting for health care. You and Senator McCain ultimately addressed the issue with bi-partisan legislation. Why did it take 18 Inspector General reports, and a CNN investigation, and others, before you and your colleagues took action?

Secretary Clinton, you told Christiane Amanpour you didn’t smoke pot when you were young, and you’re not going to start now. When asked about legalizing recreational marijuana, you told her let’s wait and see how it plays out in Colorado and Washington. It’s been more than a year since you’ve said that. Are you ready to take a position tonight?

Reader Comments 0

1087 comments
SimpleTruths
SimpleTruths

 "Another day, more promise of shrinkage among the wrong wing."

More calls for total elimination of people that disagree with you?

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Cupofjoe 

Her remarks pushed bond yields higher and stocks lower. They also caused investors to reset their expectations of a December rate hike above 60 percent

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

Doesn't seem to like it when you try to do a line feed

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@Doggone_GA 

Yeah, I haven't quite worked that out yet.  It seems to look better after it posts, though...

fiftythreepercenter
fiftythreepercenter

"Couldn't complain too much about the old software because coming here was free, but if this is going to be behind the paywall, it needs to work properly."


If it's behind the paywall, it won't make a bit of difference to me whether it works or not.  Not one bit....

Kamchak
Kamchak

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/05/us-usa-fed-yellen-idUSKCN0ST22V20151105#VbS7XvaG9i0Vqmwk.97

Fed's Yellen sees possible December rate rise, gradual hiking path

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday pointed to a possible December interest rate "liftoff" but said rates would rise only slowly from then on to nurture the U.S. economic recovery.

In her first public comments since the Fed's meeting last week Yellen laid out what now appears the base case at the U.S. central bank - that low unemployment, continued growth and faith in a coming return of inflation means the country is ready for higher interest rates.

Didn't someone recently tell me that there was no way the Fed was gonna raise interest rates?



dcdcdc
dcdcdc

While reading this article today, it occurred to me that I should thank Jay for creating this liberal echo chamber.  Its helping make sure Dems don't actually see the destruction that their liberal shifts have done to their party country wide - and ensuring that they don't make any changes to actually win elections.  So, Thanks!  The success of the R party has been amazing this past 8 years, and in many ways we owe it to you and folks like you.


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2015/11/04/the-2015-election-tightened-the-republican-stranglehold-on-state-government/?postshare=6891446666802840

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Paying for a subscription to the AJC would cut into my charitable giving, and I know the AJC would prefer I choose wisely.

An organization other than the AJC.

It's been......

.

.

.

time consuming?

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

It's going to get annoying REAL QUICK having to click on that "Continue to your first free article" link and the scroll down to the comments EVERY TIME you refresh the page.


Paul42
Paul42

See that entry, number of people listening?

Lost of lurkers who get impressions of conservatives, liberals, issues, etc. from what's written.  This is a good place to correct the record or put things into perspective, even if you know the person to whom you're responding won't update their thinking in the slightest.


Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

Looks like we've lost something...the ability to edit our posts

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

@KUTGF  I take that back...it's hiding behind a bright read streak!

straker
straker

So, now I get five free ones?


Wow, golly, gee.


I was wondering when this would happen.

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

@straker  Actually, I think it's been there for quite a while...just now they inform you

KUTGF
KUTGF

If you run, you’re done: Here’s why cops go psycho when people run from them

http://www.rawstory.com/2015/11/if-you-run-youre-done-heres-why-cops-go-psycho-when-people-run-from-them/

“It’s called contempt of cop or POP: pissing off police,” says Geoffrey Alpert, a University of South Carolina criminologist and leading expert on police violence and pursuits. “These guys have a sworn duty to catch the bad guys, and that becomes an overwhelming instinct when someone runs from them. They’re going to try to catch them.”

And when they do, bad things often happen. Nothing seems to transform an otherwise reasonable police officer into a crazed beast faster than someone who flees.____________Interesting article of the psychology of a portion of police violence. 

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

@KUTGF  If you watch things like "Dash Cam Diaries" yo can hear it in their voices.  Some cop with a nice, level, baritone voice starts screaming like a little girl as soon as whoever they stopped starts running.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Doggone_GA @KUTGF The nature of many in law enforcement is to demand obedience to authority above all. 

Squirrel_Whisperer
Squirrel_Whisperer

@KUTGF Maybe the instinct to catch the bad guy has to do with protecting the public from the bad guy.

KUTGF
KUTGF

It does seem that new comments are shown in the lower right of my screen and if you click on them it takes you to the comment. 

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Doggone_GA @KUTGF Did not work on my browser previously then.  All I ever saw was the "follow" which I can't get to disappear

Normd
Normd

Guess I just keep up with Jay on Face Book.  I'll not be forced to buy anything. 

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

This looks like a step back to me.  Didn't the livefyre blog look like this before they mucked around with it and made it so it came up in a separate window?

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

Couldn't complain too much about the old software because coming here was free, but if this is going to be behind the paywall, it needs to work properly.

_GodlessHeathen_
_GodlessHeathen_

Peaches:  "We were better off 20 years ago, people in this state were happier."

That's because the Braves had just won the World Series.

honested
honested

@_GodlessHeathen_ 

Do you really think that baseball had anything to do with it?

I didn't make a penny off baseball that year (or any other) but I did get to put up with the jets idling at PDK and launching into the air at whatever time the ball game was over.

Could the fact really be that we had a Capable Governor, a functional Legislature and maybe adequate revenue going to education?

honested
honested

Another day, more promise of shrinkage among the wrong wing.

GB101
GB101

Livefyre.  Looks like an upgrade.  Finally.  I see the user can sort the comments.  Let's see now if a commenter will be notified by email if someone replies.

Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

@GB101  Sort the comments?  Do you mean the "Newest|Oldest" link?  Because I've always seen that. I don't see any other way to sort them

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

It's interesting to hear Conservatives talk about their concern for drug addiction

Fly-On-The-Wall
Fly-On-The-Wall

@BuckeyeGa follow the money.  I doubt it is sincere, they're just looking for a way to make money off of it.

ByteMe
ByteMe

Are we suddenly behind the paywall now?

ByteMe
ByteMe

Well, it'll certainly kick out the deadbeats from the Reich wing.  Who will act like not coming back was always part of their plan.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@ByteMe  Looks like it to me.  This appears to be #1 of my "free 10 articles on myAJC".  The powers at Cox appear to want to do to Bookman's blog what they did with DawgNation - kill off commentating.

JKLtwo
JKLtwo

@ByteMe I never lived in Atlanta or had a subscription to AJC.  Looks like our time is nearing an end.

ByteMe
ByteMe

For those of you (like TD) who think Ben Carson would make an awesome President Carson....


Ben Carson is doubling down on his theory that the Egyptian pyramids were not built as funerary monuments but in fact were built by the biblical Joseph, when serving as Pharoah's Prime Minister, to store grain. "It's still my belief, yes," Carson told CBS News today in Naples, Florida.

In the course of his explanation, Carson said "And when you look at the way that the pyramids are made, with many chambers that are hermetically sealed, they’d have to be that way for various reasons.And various of scientists have said, ‘well, you know there were alien beings that came down and they have special knowledge and that’s how-’ you know, it doesn’t require an alien being when God is with you.”

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

I thought this was an old article.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@ByteMe  Wow - so even though our bible-literalist friends put Joseph at around 1900 BC, a full 600 years AFTER the building of the Great Pyramid, it was actually built by Joseph's Pharoah