A debate PRoposal

      61 Comments on A debate PRoposal

donald-trump-ben-carson-cnbc-debateIt’s popular to blame “the media” for much of the world’s troubles: cultural decline, celebration of celebrity, negative news, etc. Survey after survey shows many Americans believe reporters are biased, so it’s become good politics to bash those working in media.

This was especially true after last week’s debate in which “candidates were highly critical of the CNBC crew, accusing them of being part of the ‘liberal media,’” wrote Emily Atkin of Think Progress. “At one point, Ted Cruz ripped into the moderators for asking what he called unfair and non-substantive questions. And in two instances, audience members actually booed at questions the moderators asked of Ben Carson and Mike Huckabee.” Even other media types ripped into CNBC; everyone from Anderson Cooper to Stephen Colbert criticized the debate and its seemingly poor preparation, nonsense questions and bias.

Today’s televised debates aren’t really debates by definition; they’ve become opportunities for candidates to attempt to break through the media clutter by creating potential sound bites. The sponsoring media organizations use these political showcases as ratings-getting entertainment, not true public discourse on what matters most.

I have a not-so-novel proposal for improved, more substantive debates. Say there are 10 candidates on stage. Each candidate gets to pick a topic and select any other candidate to debate. The two then have five minutes to discuss that topic with no interruptions. Then Candidate 2 picks a different candidate and does the same. This goes on until each candidate has debated someone; then there’s a round two with different candidates picking different topics and other candidates to debate. A moderator would make sure time is kept and everyone plays fair.

If the politicians are responsible for the questions, there can be no accusations of media bias. We might even hear real questions and significant answers rather than the silliness we’ve been experiencing. Yes, this proposal would have its drawbacks and the format would need to be refined, but I’m up for anything that’ll make the debates more substantive. Public relations practitioners count on transparency and clarity to influence audience attitudes. So should politicians. Your thoughts?


61 thoughts on “A debate PRoposal

  1. vciavarella24

    If you are a politician in the media, a majority of your job is you in the limelight and in the news. So how you behave and act in the media is how the world portrays you so it is important to be as professional as possible so you don’t get a bad rep.

  2. premierorion

    It is a shame what the debates nowadays have become. The early republican debates seemed to be “The Donald Trump Show” rather than a way to find out what the plans each candidate has for the country if they are elected. Around every election I feel as if voters are given less and less information to make their decision on. The average voter wont seek out much information on all candidates and therefore may not make the best choice based on their lack of information.

  3. Bianca Kroening

    It’s ludicrous just how true this is. Politicians serve the same purpose as “the media” anyway: entertaining ratings-grabbers. Do people even watch the debates anymore to learn about different politician’s positions on issues? Or to see who Donald Trump is going to offend next?

  4. Lysa Carre

    “If the politicians are responsible for the questions, there can be no accusations of media bias. We might even hear real questions and significant answers rather than the silliness we’ve been experiencing.”

    I agree with this recommendation of how the debate can be conducted differently with this fair technique. I think making the politicians responsible for the questions can enforce them to be kept on their toes and knowledgeable about relevant topics and questions voters are truly concerned about. A debate is supposed to be competitive, slightly unpredictable, and most importantly – informative for the audience.

    If politicians were responsible for the questions of the debate, then the media cannot be held responsible for controlling desired outcomes based on biased politicians’ perspectives of government regulations. Furthermore, I think this can help politicians bring issues they feel strongly about to public spotlight, and will fundamentally give voters an opportunity to distinctly observe where politicians stand without scripted responses being given to viewers.

  5. kgorsky1

    I agree with the proposal that was explained in this post. Nowadays, debates have become more and more of a circus that people watch for entertainment, rather than a serious discussion of important topics. A more organized and orderly type of debate would be beneficial to those who wish to learn about candidates’ political views so that they are able to make a good decision on who will carry the future of our country.

  6. jennsmulo

    It’s sad what has become of debates and the political race. Jeb Bush recently commented on the new television show SuperGirl, talking about how cool it was that it was a female show and that he liked superheroes (I believe the question he’d been asked was something along the lines of, “What’s your favorite superhero?”), but he happened to say “Oh she’s hot, I’d watch the show.” It quickly became a massive soundbite and many articles were written about how crass he was and how wrong the comment was, even though it had been taken completely out of context. Yes, it probably wasn’t right of him to say that at all, but it at least made sense in context.

  7. jzagorski22

    Catching up on my jmorosoff blog replies.

    I do not follow politics nor do I really care for that subject, but this seems to be a great idea for a new approach in Politic land and for their debates. I could not possibly get further into this since I do not follow, and ever since Trump declared he was running I have zero desire to start following now. All I know is that we need someone to take initiative and get this country out and away from the many problems we have encountered just this past year alone.

  8. kassaramcelroy

    I think that your proposal is one that should be taken seriously. American citizens often have valid proposals for the government that will most likely never be heard or valued. The stations that broadcast debates tend to make their own decisions on the delivery and content of questions. I think these debates must be regulated by a higher organization than broadcast television, so that questions are fair, and improve our understanding of the country’s situation and the credentials of the candidates.

  9. HannahW

    I think your proposal for how to run a political debate is very interesting. It would be nice to see the questions that the candidates would come up with, and the topics they would choose to discuss. I think it will also help the public to see each candidate clearly, without influence from the media group who is running the event. The only thing I don’t like about your idea is that candidates will easily be able to avoid topics that they are unfamiliar with. A part of running for president is showing your ideas and strategies on how to make America better. Therefore, they shouldn’t be able to avoid any area of discussion.

  10. Martin Bradshaw

    I think this is a really good idea. Not only does is take the media out of the spotlight, it also leaves politicians up to greater scrutiny. I think this would be a good shift in focus because the whole purpose of having such debates is to give the public an opportunity to observe and judge the candidates and to help voters decide which candidate to vote for on election day.

  11. Dale Ciampa

    After seeing what has happened in the recent debates i think it is a great idea for politicians to pick their own questions. I do think that these questions should have some type of guideline or have to be approved before being put on TV. Certain topics might be purposely avoided by the candidates. With a guideline for the questions and for the debate most issues need to be discussed. The debate process does need to be changed and having questions come from candidates would be helpful but it needs to make sure to address all issues. As long as there is some regulation to these questions i think it could work out well and people will take these debates a lot more seriously.

  12. Mallory Marin

    In terms of the questions asked at the debates, I agree that they need to be more relevant on issues that matter other than their opinions on Donald Trump’s latest hair style. As a student who closely follows the 2016 election, I want to hear about the real issues: economic inequality, pharmaceutical and wall street regulation, immigration reform, ISIS, NOT each candidate talking over the moderators and each other. The disorganization of last week’s debate made it difficult to watch, and the questions were not well substantiated. For your proposed plan, I agree that these events need to be more of a “debate” instead of a soundbite generator. However, if the politicians have the opportunity to speak on the topic of their choice, they will only choose the topic that suits them best. The power of the moderators is supposed to be to catch politicians off-guard with meaningful questions; but if the politicians have that free will, it might turn into a bigger showcase then intended. The democratic debate was well-structured, and even the first republican debate was more systematized than this past debate. I believe that this case fell into the hands of the moderators; they were egregious and poorly prepared. I would be open to testing this debate structure, hoping that it will actually look at the real issues rather than each candidate’s media presence.

  13. Jenna Morace

    I think thats an awesome idea. If the candidates are the ones asking the questions they have no reason to complain to the media. Im sure the media would even enjoy hearing them bring up topics that they personally feel matter and not the same reoccurring questions the media brings up. Overall i think it would be a great movement and something worth bringing up.

  14. lourdesjc

    Well you know something isn’t right if you hear the crowd booing at questions that were thought out to entertain and receive ratings. I really like the idea of having each candidate pick a topic an their opposer, it would actually make it more interesting since one candidate may be caught off guard on the subject. It’s a shame that it’s converted itself into a circus where we only discuss comments not related to serious issues that need to be resolved to move the nation forward.

  15. Daphne Kotridis

    The fact that there was “booing” at one of our country’s presidential debates is quite revealing of the dire situation politicians face in terms of trying to have an honest, productive conversation about the issues we face. The CNBC reporters need to have the couth and quite frankly the maturity to ask questions that will promote debate and discussion from both parties in an unbiased way. The point of the debate is to reveal each candidates point of view on an issue, which will subsequently sway viewers of the debate one way or another depending on which party they side with. There is no need for reporters to undermine certain candidates because viewers are going to have strong opinions one way or another.

  16. Katherine Hammer

    I like your proposal of the candidates coming up with a topic and choosing who to debate with. I do think however that these topics need to be approved and that someone should make sure that there are several topics covered. I did not get the chance to watch this last debate, but in the past I have experienced debates where the same answer is given to different questions, which might be the part of a candidate’s campaign, but they should be able to touch upon more topics to create a better debate. I also think that there could still be bias in the topics chosen, but in that case it would eliminate the “media” bias that these candidates have been receiving.

  17. syanok

    I do not think the candidates should be able to write their own questions. During the debates, most of them don’t even properly answer questions from moderators so I do not believe they would write objective questions on difficult issues for themselves.

  18. S. Shakola

    I do believe that depending on the network, you are more likely to get a different type of debate. It is important that the public gets a “real” sense of each candidate so a more universal type of debate may be necessary. Though I believe it will be hard for certain networks to agree to this, I do think there needs to be change in regards to a more fair and equal debate for all.

  19. Forrest Gitlin

    I honestly think that the debate hosted by CNBC was significantly more substantive than the debate hosted by CNN. While the CNBC debate moderators and questioners did appear to have a bias against the candidates, they also asked some questions about the economy and student debt that had not been asked of Republicans yet. On the other hand, the CNN debate was a debacle of “Trump said this about you, would you like to respond?”

    I think that it is a good thing to have opponents of a party questioning that party’s candidates, it pushes them to actually answer questions that friendly news organizations would never dare ask.

  20. hallieabish

    I definitely think reporters create their own biases. Everyone creates their own biases. Your proposal may be fair but I still think bias opinions will be present. However, I do not think politicians should be responsible for creating their own questions. I think that this too will create bias. A candidate will obviously create a question which they are very familiar with. This may make things unfair.

  21. capriceoliver

    I definitely agree with the point that debates have turned into creative sound bites. I can confess that I have not been as engaged in this political campaign for president. It seems to me that politics has taken an ugly turn with out right racism being taken as good points in a campaign. Debates need to actually be what debates are by definition and your suggested change would be great. This country really needs a change in political campaigns, this one has took the cake for me!

  22. Awoolman13

    I definitely agree that the format of these debates should be changed. Nowadays, it seems like the candidates will say something that will capture the attention of the media. For example, when Donald Trump made those faces during the last debate… I saw that 5-7 second clip of him making those faces all over Facebook and Twitter.

  23. Cass Lang

    Your proposal could definitely improve the way debates work and bring the seemingly missing ‘debate’ aspect back into it, while also eliminating the media’s biases. I really like that your idea would provide a perfect opportunity for candidates to challenge specific view points and expose weak stances while shedding light on what they believe is most important. In addition, I like that it would provide equal speaking opportunities to each candidate.

  24. Elaine

    I agree that television bias is exist because people have themselves religion, party and culture. As a reporter, they do something should fair and justice but we can not avoid this. As an audience, we should forgive them although reporter be accused that he is unfair to candidates in this news. However, media is the only channel to transport information to audiences, they must keep fair and justice. Thus, we must do some measures to keep them fair. I think Professor’s method is good to solve this problem. Reporter as the third party like PR person, do not ask any questions to candidates and only just keep how long the debate last. It can make people trust them and release the bias.

  25. Pakelody Cheam

    I agree with the notion that televised debates are no longer really debates. In fact, from what I’ve heard, it seems that they are almost as laughable as bad reality shows.

    Professor Morosoff’s proposal would definitely alleviate some of the alleged bias. Also, candidates would have to be prepared to fight for something they have interest in. Many have commented about the idea that this would create problems with candidates avoiding issues that need to be spoken of; however, if the citizens are pushing for answers, I feel that they will feel pressured to answer those questions. If not, then the candidate will most likely get heat for not addressing the controversial questions everyone is burning to hear -kind of like how “no comment” is basically a death sentence for public relations.

  26. cdano1

    I completely agree that the “debates” we see on TV today are nothing but a show to gain votes. Much like reality television, the debates are made to be sensational and draw you in. If you go back and actually listen to what the candidates are saying, it is nothing more than a jumble of words, with a few jokes thrown in.

  27. Rachel Tyler

    I like the proposal you bring up in the blog. Unfortunately when it comes to debates, the station lets the bias show through. We see the commentators trying to attack particular candidates over others to get some drama stirred. Debates have become more of a show over the real political issues, which if America is going to chose the next president we need a more structured debate.

  28. Nikita Hakels

    I agree that some politicians and debates gets more attention than anything, and there are a lot of biased questions that are being asked. Everything should be crystal clear, your standing as a representation of your country you should be clear to the public about all your views and statements. Some candidates during the election campaigns are being highlighted more than anything for instance Mr Trump, but this also depends upon public interest, the media has to cover stories that the public like and unfortunately the most criticized image is usually most talked about.

  29. azachar1

    Hi Professor Morosoff,

    Your thoughtful ideas in your most recent blog post make a lot of sense.

    As I was reading your post, I couldn’t help but think of one of my favorite movies. Although it is a silly satire that has a lot of obscene humor, the movie “The Campaign,” came to mind. There is one scene in the movie where the two political candidates are debating on what should be important issues happening in their district. Instead, the debate was not even focused around the central questions and was more about attacking the opponent and making them look bad.

    What ever happened to politics being about the people? In addition to poor public perception of the media, I think the general American public has a negative perception of politicians and have lost all sense of hope. I believe this is because politicians have become so narcissistic, thinking about their campaigns not for what they can do for the people but what is going to get them that most publicity.

    If you have never seen “The Campaign” I highly suggest watching it. Beyond the humor, there are some dark satirical tones that are importantly addressed.

    Here is a scene from the movie:

  30. Alexis Carfagno

    I agree with your proposed strategy! I feel as though with debates and especially with the recent debates that have been happening, many people have felt as though the media is actually targeting certain candidates with questions that, instead of sparking a debate and showing the candidates’ actual viewpoints on certain topics, is more so hurting the debate with questions that may not be so relevant. As it was mentioned in your previous blog about Ms. Mecca Santana, people will always have their own biases and therefore it is the person’s responsibility to be conscious of their own biases and work towards ending them. Especially in a presidential debate, where the future of our country is at stake, the media and everyone involved should go through any length to keep their biases out of the discussion / debate.

  31. Sara Fox

    While I didn’t get to watch the debate, I agree that the media is focusing on/is bias toward anyone who will get ratings. The fact that Donald Trump has been getting the most media coverage in the election thus far is a great indication of this. This being said, I think your idea to moderate what topics are being discussed is a good one. If the moderators are making unfair and bias questions, how can we get real answers from these potential leaders? Something needs to change.

  32. Dan Hanson

    It’s difficult for controversies not to occur during these debates only because the station of choice will always have a bias. Whether it be MSNBC with Chris Matthews and Al Sharpton or Fox News with Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, there will always be a point in the discussion where bias will be introduced. Would it be nice if someone who is completely neutral could moderate the debate? Yes, of course, but at the same time does such a person exist? These days it’s all about the $$$ and networks go crazy for it. It’s difficult to foresee a time where that isn’t the case. In conclusion, bias isn’t going anywhere.

  33. ChloeLauraDale

    I think your suggestion is a good one. This would be a fair way to run the debates and there would be less talk of media bias. The moderator might have a tough time ensuring everyone equal time, but it would be interesting to see this different approach in action.

  34. Judea Hartley

    To be honest, I believe that the media is bias abroad for one reason-to gain more ratings and publicity. The media usually is not going to support or cover something/someone who isn’t going to gain any ratings or bring awareness to the media source. While reading ”The Practice of Public Relations” by Dan Lattimore, the reader is taught that the media reports and construes what is most popular, not necessarily what is most accurate. Furthermore, one can learn from the readings, that the media is not able to tell one how to think, but it can definitely influence what one thinks about. in regards, to politics, I concur with the suggestion that the politicians should come up with their own questions to ask each other, not with questions that has been encouraged by the media. This way, it can be more honesty. The public relations practitioner can therefore be the liaison between the publics and the government. Their duty is to effectively create a change in attitude, opinion, and behavior. Once transparency is evident in the political debates, the public relations practitioner can address these issues with the public and get sincere feedback on how they feel about these issues.

  35. Peta Clayton

    I didn’t get the chance to watch the debate but I wish that I had so that I could have heard what some of the questions that were asked of the candidates were. I find it interesting that audience members felt that some of the questions were so foolish that they deserved to be booed. I think that the idea that you propose is an interesting one but it is definitely one that could have some flaws. I wonder if each candidate was talking about a different topic for five minutes at a time if audience members would really get to hear a candidate’s views on each topic or just the topic that they were given the chance to speak of. I wonder if there would be a loss of information there for audience members. There’s potential danger in having candidates choose their topic because they might put a spin on what they’re speaking about but this danger exists in anything that a politician says to begin with. It will definitely be interesting to see if the style of debates ever changes.

  36. lpardee1

    After watching the debate personally, I couldn’t agree more with your proposed strategy. I find it that the moderators look for opportunities to start controversy so that they get more media attention and their show gets higher ratings. Because of this we are deprived of what is important, and are lacking the appropriate knowledge to pick a president. The system needs to be changed and refocused on what is important.

  37. Tara Egan

    I agree that political debates have turned into a whirlwind of media bias, but I do not think candidates should have complete control over questions because then they could choose to ignore certain issues. I think debates should be held on one network that has no biased about democrats or republicans. Maybe questions could be decided from a list of important topics each candidate presents instead of the candidates presenting a list of questions.

  38. Jack De Gilio

    I didn’t manage to get a chance to get to see the Republican debate, and while I do agree with you to an extent about the fact that the debates are practically giant publicity stunts, I think they do provide a chance to give the public the idea of what their ideals, which can help those who are undecided to gain more insight.

    However, I will not deny that sometimes nonsense questions are being asked in these debates. I’m kind of surprised that the Republican debate was hosted by CNBC in the first place, considering the fact that they are heavy left. I think that the debates do need some changes, and while I think that your proposal could stop potentially biased media, I’m not sure how I feel about this alternative debate method. I think that it would just allow for certain politicians to pick the questions that they think will help them the most, and that might mean we don’t see each politician’s true colors.

  39. Sarah

    I agree that the debates have become tools for candidates to break through the media.
    I feel that the choices of questions the mediators bring up may not necessarily explain positions especially to middle america, it only confuses voters and their opinions. The debates should only encompass specific topics that need defining to the voters. The candidates should have equal time and not waste time defending character attacks from the mediators and other candidates.

  40. haileyoliveri

    I really agree with your solution for how we can remove media bias from presidential debates. If these questions are from the candidates, there is no bias. Say they did it beauty pageant style, where a question is picked out of a bowl, so it’s a prepicked question with no bias, and then candidates have to be prepared for whatever possible topic may come their way. That way there’s no bias and it’s fair to all participants. Making these debates biasless and fair should be the ideal goal instead of allowing them to continue to be the candidates taking shots and one another and seeing who can throw out the best line to be picked up by the media.

  41. emilyrwalsh

    I wish I enjoyed watching the presidential debates, but unfortunately it only makes me upset and worried for our future. It’s easy to blame the media for being biased in the questions that are asked. Various news outlets are obvious for which side of the political spectrum they agree with. I like your idea of the candidates being the ones to come up with and ask the questions. This shows they care about the questions being asked, and everyone is on the same playing field. As you stated, being transparent is of the utmost importance in public relations, and I believe that being honest and transparent should also be very important within the political world.

  42. Lindsey

    The media may be responsible for many of the biases in the political arena. They design questions and frame situations to serve their purposes, just like any other person with a boss to please. Your proposal is a solid way to keep media bias out of debate culture, but it would serve the politicians to avoid questions they don’t want to talk about and encourage them to aim certain questions at others to embarrass them.

  43. boxofficesam

    It’s hard not to blame the media for the coverage of certain events and criticize the biased that so many news media outlets have. I’ve seen both sides of the spectrum, I know some people who follow the news religiously believing everything they hear. I know people who are so untrusting of news media they believed that it’s a tool of the government to distract citizens from a bigger picture. Some people believe that the news is responsible in provoking riots in the past few years. It’s hard not to judge when we as a society demand perfection from media outlets and when in the past years there have been so many scandals involving the media. I think it’s best to be somewhere in the middle of the spectrum not taking any sides until all the facts have been released.

  44. Kylie Todd

    So I’m not particularly a fan of watching debates, which is something that I wish were different because I feel like there is a lot to be learned about a particular politician through the debates. And after reading this blog, though I might learn more about the candidates, it seems like if I did watch the debates I’d be too frustrated with the content and format to even care. Yes, your proposal might need refinement, but it’s definitely a good start. You mentioned that like PR practitioners, politicians should “count on transparency and clarity to influence audience attitudes.” But that seems unattainable, which is very unfortunate.

  45. Emily DiLaura

    Your idea isn’t so bad and it would definitely help to change up the format. I have to say though, I often find that candidates will find anything they can to complain about, so I’m sure they could find something else to have a problem with. I think your idea would be good because it’s coming from a viewer, which at the end of the day is the most important opinion for a TV network. I think it is very hard not to posses some form of bias especially in the media world but there are definitely steps that can be taken to avoid this political banter coming back on your network.

  46. Chelsey Fuller

    I totally agree that the debates are more of publicity stunts. That is exactly why I tend to not watch them anymore. Either a candidate dances around a question or the question itself serves no propose. I know they are meant to put them on the spot and get them talking about other things, but the last few debates, especially this one, was just an opportunity for some to get some attention. I really like your proposal because for once the candidates are in control. Sometimes I think it is really bad moderators that create the bias during debates. We should leave it up to these people who want to run our country and see where they really stand on things.

  47. Jeff Lansky

    I think that it is true that “media bias” creates more arguments and sound bite moments between candidates than actual political discussion. I think that your proposal is smart because it will prevent the personal attacks that candidates use on each other. I also agree with my classmates that allowing the candidates to chose their own questions will enable them to chose questions based on their strengths. I think that it important that each candidate also answer questions about their weakness because it is important for the voters to see how they will handle them. There definitely needs to be a change to the debate system to prevent media biased questions.

  48. jhlabella

    While watching the debate Wednesday I was shocked at the way the moderators handled the situation at hand. I like your debate idea, however I feel that if you gave the canditates the option of what they could speak about they would avoid all questions they aren’t comfortable with speaking on.

  49. A.Murphy

    I feel like attempting to fix the debate problem is comparable to giving a man with a stab wound a bandaid.
    Let me explain…
    There is so much wrong with politics these days and the debates are only a by-product of the madness. Politicians are seen to be more worried about issues that concern them and not the constituents that they represent. Add lobbying into the picture and everything gets much more muddled.
    I think that there needs to be an entire political overhaul and an extensive cleaning house. We are so concerned with the President not overstepping his bounds and only holding office for two four-year terms but we seem to be more than willing to accept congressmen who have been in office longer than I have been alive (23years). Also, If we are so concerned with knowing the tax histories of candidates and those holding office, why are we not concerned with these “retired” congressmen still receiving paychecks and benefits even though they no longer hold a position. I’m sorry. I live in the real-world where if you don’t work, you don’t get paid.
    So no. I don’t think that fixing the debate would really solve anything and blaming the media is just an excuse we use to hide behind the fact that people are not ready and willing to do an entire government overhaul.

  50. alliegiordano

    With any kind of debates there is always going to be media bias. With your new debate idea, it would be easy for the candidates to choose questions that they are comfortable and knowledgeable about. They will also avoid any topics they don’t want to talk about unless however another candidate chooses to directly debate them in one of their questions. Hopefully we are able to learn from this moderators bias and fix this for future debates.

  51. laurabellini

    I appreciate your proposal and your efforts to find a solution to the claim of “media bias.” However, as some of my fellow classmates have said, having the politicians pick the questions would lead to candidates only talking about the few topics they know about, and wouldn’t allow for their weaknesses to be shown as well, which the American people deserve to know. There’s always going to be conflict and accusations of bias unfortunately. I do believe, as a journalism major, the mainstream news outlets should be doing a better job trying to stay impartial.

  52. Victoria Reid

    While I think that your proposal is a creative idea, I do think that it would allow the politicians to avoid all the topics that don’t feel knowledgable enough to talk about. If that were the case many issues important issues not be spoken upon by everyone and we wouldn’t know where they stand. Because of this, I do think there needs to be a moderator to ensure that the important topics are covered. I agree that the debate process needs to be changed but I think it’s a situation that’s easier said than done.

  53. Emily Green

    I think that there definitely needs to be some changes in how the debates are conducted because there is media bias without a doubt. With your proposal, I think it would be too easy for the candidates to avoid what they don’t want to talk about and focus on what they are most comfortable with. Having someone else ask the questions keeps the playing field fair for everyone. In our society, I think it is unfortunately impossible to stay away from the bias in the media.

  54. jheiden1

    I think we will always run into problems when discussing debate issues. There’s always something bad to talk about and fixing recurring issues is a challenge. I hope this will teach a lesson to future moderators and keep them from bias and skewed question asking. Perhaps the media slamming this recent moderator in particular will make others more hesitant in calling unfair shots.

  55. audrathorsen

    I think your proposal for a new way to debate is smart. However, I do think that it would be slightly unfair for them to choose the topic because then politicians would just choose topics they really know their stuff about and they would choose the candidates they know they can beat. I think the mediators should choose the topics and candidates to debate against. I do agree that a new form of debating is necessary.

  56. Abby Drapeau

    The only flaw I see with the politicians choosing their own questions is that they can avoid things that they don’t want to talk about – on the other side of this, a politician can confront another about something they know they don’t want to talk about. I agree that there has to be a change in the way the debates are done, the way CNN advertised the first debate made it seem like it was going to be the season finale of a fight club, not a debate for the presidential candidacy.

  57. Marc Roessle

    I personally like the proposal explained in the blog. At this point, any type of format might be better suited for these types of debates. The problem with these debates is that whatever television station is broadcasting the debate, that station will use bias to their advantage. These types of debates have been turned into media spectacles when they really shouldn’t be.

  58. joebarone28

    I like your proposal but if politicans are responsible for the questions would they try to avoid topics they are unfamilair of? In this case, certain politicians may not want to cover certain topics and people would not bat an eye because they may seem fluent with something else. I like what you propose but a moderator would have to be involved as well asking just a handful of questions the candidate did not talk about.
    But yes, the bias from certain networks aren’t fair. CNBC is heavy left and FOX is to the right, but there is no balance. To be a presidential candidate, you should be in the middle of everything so people can see your true colors.

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