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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The 1st Thread/The Campaign is Over Thread #1 For 10/16/12: The Debate Format is Dead

Candy Crowley will moderate the debate tonight. Expect the same centrist media performance instead of the best journalism. 

Basically, it doesn't matter if it's a long term veteran or a new centrist media darling, America's debate moderation format in national, state, and local elections is antiquated and dead.

When moderators don't ever think about fact checking candidates or do their research to correct candidates' lies, half-truths, or just deceiving misinformation in general, what purpose is a debate to American lives (and the global community) in the 21st century other than a glorified excuse for news networks to still feel their overrated, overpriced pundits are worth listening to?

When candidates are blatantly proud of their mendacity and dishonesty, with only follow up questions as their punishment for those shameful actions by supposedly the best journalists in America, then the debate format's current form is nothing but a continued sham made even worse in the rapid fire age of online and instant fact checking.

It's the same element of course in the traditional Sunday talk show circuit (and even sadly when conservatives are not corrected on Melissa Harris Perry's show), since they think David Gregory and Martha Raddatz are the standard of journalism.

The amount of praise people, from Raddatz's colleagues to even solid liberal sources, bestowed upon Raddatz was just as alarming as Peggy Noonan and Mary Matalin unabashed love for Jim Lehrer's decrepit performance (I'm relieved that "Atrios" Black, Susie Madrak, Alyssa Rosenberg, Glenn Greenwald didn't agree).

If Raddatz is the standard of debate moderation despite her centrist Beltway perspective, then America might as well give up being able to ever do quality journalism at the highest level on national American television for good.

Raddatz's performance will then lead to a predictable annoying display from another centrist media darling in Candy Crowley, who has already made conservatives go bonkers because they are conservatives, but who also is one of those people who thinks she's better than "know it all, peace nick progressives hippies." And it will be the same with Bob Schieffer in the final debate on Monday.

Only Mitt Romney's continued belief in not having any moral conscious, his lack of any foreign policy knowledge outside of what the neo-cons tell him, and President Obama being tired of fully tolerating him face to face in a respectful manner is the only way Romney's sham personal will be badly exposed in these debates (as it already has else where for so many days and so many years).

A few individuals in the comments section of Huff Post Live had the nerve to tell me that a moderator's job is "not to fact check" anybody. This type of thinking is due to our centrist, corporate media failing to do what a moderator should do, which is to "fact check" and not let any awful distortion go away.

Until that happens though, our debate format at all levels in America will continue to be a joke. And it's not because of lying or intelligence devoid Republicans.

It will be because our American centrist, corporate media culture has made it comfortable to not do the best job that journalism requires, especially at the most crucial of moments.

As a journalist, I really do find that quite sad and forever alarming. 
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