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August 20, 2013

GOP Eyes Cutting Media Out of the Primary Debate Loop

So they say.

But the GOP is conservative in temperament if not in actual policies so they'll probably just do what they've always done and let Brian Williams and George Stephanopolous rig their debates for them.

The biggest change under consideration is a move to break the connection between debates and television news organizations. Under today's system, news networks sponsor almost all the debates. They control the moderators, content, and production, and in the end exclusively broadcast the program.

"Why can't we have more than one outlet?" asks Ari Fleischer, the former Bush White House spokesman who served on the RNC's reform committee and is still in touch with officials on debate and other issues. "One of the options could be for the RNC to sponsor its own debates, to spend a serious amount of money to build a set, design it, organize it, run it, and make the feed available to all, so that it could be broadcast on numerous outfits."

That leads to the inevitable issue of who will ask the questions. "The RNC has to pick credible, challenging, realistic, independent moderators," says Fleischer. The field of choices, he adds, is wide open. "It could be a conservative radio personality, a conservative columnist, a former White House aide or presidential campaign aide, someone who has been there before."

The media will not broadcast these things, because the media has a Guild interest in insisting that only what they do is "news" and anyone not in the Guilt purporting to sell "news" is an unlicensed scab who is selling false news knockoffs.

That said, who cares? The most interested people will watch these things online. Those are pretty much the primary voters.

The media isn't going to deligitimize itself.* Someone actually has to stop talking about it at some point and actually do it.

* Of course they have deligitimized themselves, but a brand, or a family dynasty, or a country, can turn corrupt and hollow but still linger on for years on the strength of its previous reputation and accumulated stock and contracts.


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posted by Ace at 04:07 PM

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