Dear Commons Community,
Yesterday, the Republican National Committee suspended the debate scheduled for Feb. 26 to be hosted by NBC News. The decision illustrated the G.O.P.’s distrust of the mainstream media and the way last Wednesday night’s debate was handled by CNBC. As reported by the New York Times:
“The action came after a flurry of calls in which the candidates’ representatives conveyed their fury to party leaders over what they described as the hostile tone of the anchors moderating the debates.
“While debates are meant to include tough questions and contrast candidates’ visions and policies for the future of America, CNBC’s moderators engaged in a series of ‘gotcha’ questions, petty and meanspirited in tone, and designed to embarrass our candidates,” the party’s chairman, Reince Priebus, wrote in a letter to Andrew Lack, the chairman of NBC News.
The action by the party leadership seemed designed in part to redirect Republican anger away from the national committee, which many believe has bungled the debate process. The campaigns of Donald J. Trump and Ben Carson, who lead in many recent polls, have led many of the changes to the debate process so far, reflecting how insurgent candidates can sway the party, particularly as they confront traditional media companies that have long controlled the debate format.
The campaigns are also working to influence the format of coming debates and have planned a private meeting on Sunday evening in Washington. On the agenda: forcing both the committee and the networks to address their concerns, including format (such as the debates’ length and whether candidates have opening statements) and airtime for each candidate.”
This was inevitable since so much of the next day’s news coverage about the debate was more about its format and the moderators’ questions than about the candidates themselves.
Happy Halloween, Everybody!