Let Us Talk

October 5, 2008

2nd Presidential Debate: Tom Brokaw Is A Blatant John McCain Supporter – Will He Be A Fair Debate Moderator?

 The second presidential debate is scheduled for next Tuesday, October 7 at 9PM EST/8PM CST.

The debate will take place at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.  The debate will be in the Town Hall format and questions will be taken from the audience and some from the internet. 

Participants in the town meeting will pose their questions to the candidates after reviewing their questions with the moderator for the sole purpose of avoiding duplication. The participants will be chosen by the Gallup Organization and will be undecided voters from the Nashville, Tennessee standard metropolitan statistical area. During the town meeting, the moderator has discretion to use questions submitted by Internet. 

The host will be Tom Brokaw of NBC who is a John McCain supporter. Mr. Brokaw has said that over the summer he had “advocated” within the executive suite of NBC News to modify the anchor duties of the MSNBC hosts Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews on election night and on nights when there were presidential debates. Brokaw thought that Olbermann and Matthews used their time on air to engage in ‘commentary’. NBC said earlier this month that the two hosts would mostly relinquish their anchor duties to Mr. Gregory, while being present as analysts during debates and special election coverage.

Brokaw also said he has conducted some “shuttle diplomacy in recent weeks” between NBC and the McCain campaign.  His mission, he said, was to assure McCain’s aides that — despite some negative on-air commentary by Mr. Olbermann in particular — Mr. McCain could still get a fair shake from NBC News.

On the Sunday, September 28 edition of Meet The Press, Tom Brokaw moderated a debate between McCain strategist Steve Schmidt and Obama strategist David Axelrod on topics ranging from Iraq to the Wall Street bailout which Axelrod seemed to win. At the end, Tom Brokaw did something unusual, he opted to give himself the last word and told the audience:

“In fairness to everybody here, I’m just going to end on one note. And that is that we continue to poll on who’s best equipped to be Commander in Chief, and John McCain continues to lead in that category despite the criticism from Barack Obama by a factor of 53 to 42 percent in our latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. Gentlemen, thank you very much. “

In fact, the latest NBC poll actually has no question about Commander in Chief. It turns out that Brokaw was referring to a poll taken weeks ago – right after the Republican convention and well before the September 26 national security debate. In each of NBC’s last two polls, Americans chose Obama over McCain so Brokaw was being quite dishonest.

Brokaw is very blatant and bold with his support of McCain; can he be a fair moderator?

Also read:

https://letustalk.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/obama-slam-dunks-tom-brokaws-biased-questions/

 

 

Obama/Biden 2008!

 

 

September 20, 2008

Vice Presidential Debate Shenanigans – Thursday, October 2 at 9pm EST

 The McCain campaign has insisted that the Thursday, October 2 debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden have shorter question-and-answer segments than those for the presidential nominees. With this format there will be much less occasion for impromptu direct exchanges between Palin and Biden.

 McCain advisers said they had been concerned that a loose format could leave Ms. Palin, a relatively inexperienced debater, at a disadvantage and largely on the defensive.

The bickering and power struggle was chiefly between the McCain-Palin camp and the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates which is sponsoring the forums.

Commission members wanted a relaxed format that included time for follow-up questioning and challenges between the vice-presidential candidates. Last week, the Commission rejected a proposal from advisers to Palin and McCain for few if any free flowing or flexible interactions. Advisers to Biden say they were comfortable with either format.

 A commission member said that the new agreement on the vice-presidential debate was reached late morning Saturday. It calls for shorter blocks of candidate statements and open discussion than at the presidential debates.

Both campaigns see the four debates as pivotal moments in a presidential race that is not only extraordinarily close but also drawing intense interest from voters; roughly 40 million viewers watched the major speeches at the two parties’ conventions.

 While the debates between presidential nominees are traditionally the main events in the fall election season, the public interest in Palin has proved extraordinary, and a large audience is expected for her debate debut.

The negotiations for the three 90-minute debates between Obama and McCain were largely free of any power struggle. The Obama and McCain campaigns have agreed to an unusual free-flowing format for the three televised presidential debates which begin this Friday, September 26. Teams Obama and McCain agreed to one substantive change to the format originally proposed by the debate commission, giving them two minutes apiece to make a statement at the beginning of each segment on a new topic.

Schedule of debates:

Friday, September 26, 2008: Presidential debate with foreign policy focus, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS

 Thursday, October 2, 2008: Vice Presidential debate, Washington University, St. Louis, MO

 Tuesday, October 7, 2008: Presidential debate in a town hall format, Belmont University, Nashville, TN

 Wednesday, October 15, 2008: Presidential debate with domestic policy focus, Hofstra University, Hempstead (L.I.), NY

 

 

 

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