In four days we are about to be treated to yet another Republican Presidential debate hosted by a media outlet. This time it will be FOX Business. After watching the first three debates I am not holding out much hope for substantive policy questions or equal time for candidates to respond.
The CNN debate was designed to try and provoke fights, with the candidates shouting to get recognized like school kids trying to get the teachers attention. The CNBC debate was just an absolute joke. Even the FOX News debate was loaded with “gotcha” questions, from Trump’s question on his treatment of women to Scott Walker’s question about why he would be willing to let a woman die instead of having an abortion.
All three of these debates have two things in common:
- They were hosted and run by the media.
- The journalists asking the questions were seeking to frame the debate for their own purposes.
With the disasters that have already occurred, I have to ask. Why do we think the next 8 debates will be any different?
The Republican Party, as well as every candidate in the race, has a vested interest in seeing that these debates are held in an orderly and professional manner, with substantive, issue-based questions that ultimately leave our candidates in the best possible light moving forward. The media’s goal, on the other hand, is to sensationalize things for ratings, brutalize our front runners, and turn the debate into their own personal platforms for attacking Conservatism in general.
That’s why we should not be letting journalists and the media run our debates. Period.
The Party itself, in cooperation with the candidates, should be hosting these debates. We should choose the venues. The party and the candidates should choose the moderators, and we should be using respected former elected officials or party officials (NO journalists or reporters) for those roles. Each candidate needs to be given equal time, and let all the candidates propose substantive topics for the debate questions.
When that is all set, invite the media to cover the event..for a fee. Why should CNBC, CNN, CBS, FOX, et al, be getting rich off of their attempts to humiliate our candidates? These debates are a hot commodity. People want to see them, so let the media outlets bid to cover them, just like they bid on broadcasts rights to professional sporting events. The money that is raised should be poured into voter ID efforts all over the country to benefit not just the eventual primary winner, but every Republican candidate on the ballot.
In this day and age we need to be thinking about the branding of our party. In the eyes of far too many voters image is everything, and we are allowing the media to tarnish that image before the first primary vote is even cast.