T-1 days ’till the first presidential debate and Poynter has an article on the current lack of diversity among the chosen moderators.
Jim Lehrer kicks off Wednesday’s debate, free to ask his own questions, “while Candy Crowley, the second woman in 20 years to moderate a presidential debate” has to moderate the town hall (i.e. where the audience asks questions as opposed to the moderator). Note: women have more recently moderated non-town hall vice presidential debates. P.S. The last time a black moderator was chosen to moderate a presidential debate was 1992.
Frank Fahrenkopf, Republican co-chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, blames the media for not having more eligible female candidates. I’m sorry….WHAT? Let me spew out a few names: Diane Sawyer, Tamara Hall, Alex Wagner, Soledad O’Brien, Gwen Ifill…and those were just off the top of my head. Further, lack of female diversity is not the sole problem: there is Hispanic, Arabic, Jewish etc… non-representation.
However, that is a problem to do more with media, for in an ideal scenario the race/ethnicity/gender/religion of the moderator should not effect the questions posed to the debaters, but it seems debates have become less about facts and more about the zings, and the pre-debate hoopla of who will win or lose.
P.S. This is a nice little myth-debunking by Gwen Ifill.