The Horse Sense Blog compares the nonsense in today's news with good ol' fashioned horse sense

“…I shall speak forth my sentiments freely and without reserve.… It is only in this way that we can hope to arrive at truth, and fulfill the great responsibility which we hold to God and our country. Should I keep back my opinions at such a time, through fear of giving offense, I should consider myself as guilty of treason towards my country, and of an act of disloyalty toward the Majesty of Heaven, which I revere above all earthly kings.” - Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775

"The further a society drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Obama And Romney Campaigns Share Concerns About Moderator In Tuesday’s Debate

Here’s the Nonsense:  Moderators for the presidential debates are free to control the debates in any way they choose. 

Here's the Horse Sense:  Moderators are responsible to a free society to make sure the debates are fair and balanced with no influence from either side taking control to affect outcomes.  The mainstream media's efforts to influence debate outcomes with their ideological bias is one of the most dangerous threats to our free society.

Most debates are a disaster with the bias of the moderators controlling how they will be handled.  Two weeks ago we saw a refreshing scene when Jim Lehrer actually stayed out of doing much influencing and simply tried to facilitate a discussion between the candidates so that America could see where both men stood on the issues.  It was probably the most effective presidential debate we've seen in many election campaign cycles.  But other moderators probably will not be as effective because they will allow their personal biases and political leanings to influence how they do their jobs as moderators (as we clerly saw with Martha Raddatz in the vice presidential debate last week).

Time Magazine has stated in a current article:

In a rare example of political unity, both the Romney and Obama campaigns have expressed concern to the Commission on Presidential Debates about how the moderator of the Tuesday town hall has publicaly described her role, TIME has learned. 

While an early October memorandum of understanding between the Obama and Romney campaigns and the bipartisan commission sponsoring the debates suggests CNN's Candy Crowley would play a limited role in the Tuesday-night session, Crowley, who is not a party fo that agreement, has done a series of interviews on her network in which she has suggested she will assume a broader set of responsibilities.  As Crowley put it last week, "Once the table is kind of set by the town-hall questioner, there is then time for me to say, "Hey, wait a second, what about X, Y, Z?"

The campaigns signed an agreement on Oct. 3 regarding the role of the moderators because they were both concerned that moderators have taken too much control away from citizens to "...a more limited role for the moderator of the town-hall debate.  The questioning of the two candidates is supposed to be driven by the audience members themselves..."

The agreement by the campaigns says "...The moderator will not ask follow-up questions or comment on either the questions asked by the audience or the answers of the candidates during the debate or otherwise intervene in the debate except to acknowledge the questioners from the audience or enforce the time limits, and invite candidate comments during the two-minute response period."  but there is nothing binding in the agreement for the moderator to comply with its terms.  Rather, the Commission on Presidential Debates is simply to give the moderator a copy of the agreement.  So the question arises whether the moderator will choose to honnor it since she is not a party to the agreement.

Candy Crowley, the moderator for this week's debate, has made it clear in interviews that she sees her role as one that expands the audience questions and directs the discussion at her own whim.

While the campaigns have expressed concern over this, the Commission on Presidential Debates has said they would discuss those concerns with Crowley, something that they have not confirmed that they've done.

This leaves the concerns wide open, as Time goes on to report:

In fact, according to one source, the key language from the MOU written up by the campaigns (“the moderator will not rephrase the question or open a new topic”) was taken directly from the words used by a Commission official during an early discussion about the debate formats. In short, as far as the campaigns are concerned, there should be no new follow up questions in the town hall debate.

The real question that remains unanswered is whether a debate can truly be a fair and balanced event if a moderator is allowed this kind of control.  In fact, with the proven left wing bias of the mainstream media, it raises the questions if they should be allowed to moderate the debates.  The fact is that we will never have fair debates if we continue to allow these ideologues to control them.  In last week's vice pesidential debate we saw the moderator, Martha Raddatz, show significant bias as she made clear efforts to shut down Paul Ryan while running cover for Joe Biden and the Obama campaign.  Her efforts to support the Democrat ticket and paint a predetermined picture of which side voters should choose were disgusting and unprofessional.

In my new book, No Tomorrows:  How To Halt America's Imminent Collapse And Return To The American Dream - And Why It Must Start With The 2012 Elections, I identify the core problems facing America and show how we can fix them.  One of those problems is a breakdown in morality in our society.  The example of how the debates have come to be moderated by clearly biased media members with an agenda to sway the outcome is a perfect example of the breakdown of morality in our society.

A free press is the most important protection a free society has from losing its freedom.  They are the watchdog for a free society by keeping the unbiased truth clearly and continually reported to citizens to hold the government accountable.  When the media put their personal political ideologies above reporting the unvarnished truth they have opened the door to the collapse of that free society.  In America our press have not only opened that door, they have pushed America down a path to losing our freedoms in the very near future if we do not put a halt to it.  It is important that we, as citizens, push back to make sure that truth is reported, not just biased versions of issues that try to direct which way outcomes will go.

Will the fact that both campaigns have showed concern regarding this week's debate change  the way the media try to control the debate outcomes?  Most likely not.  In fact, I am probably safe in saying it not only won't cause a change in how the debates are moderated, it will most likely cause the media to dig in and hold firm to their control in the debates.  The future of elections in America will never be bright until voters demand a fair and balanced format.  That means that it's time to replace the biased media as moderators and seek another solution for who will handle such roles in the future.