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Whisper in Brokaw's Ear

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, October 3 2008

We're now two debates in to the general election, neither of which, I think it's fair to say, made a stellar case for professional moderation. Gwen Ifill seemed somehow restrained last night, pushing for consensus where none really existed. (I'm thinking of this exchange on marriage equality). And Jim Lehrer seemed to barely be a presence at the first debate. The whole thing kinda makes you wish for snowmen, doesn't it? The YouTube debate certainly had its ups and downs. But it did push the candidates outside their talking point comfort zones -- something that hasn't happened in the general election.

The debate Tuesday, Oct. 7, in Nashville, Tennessee, is making noise about being slightly more open. Anyone can suggest a question for the moderator through MyDebates.org, the colaboration between MySpace and the Commission on Presidential Debates:

You can influence the content of the Presidential Debates!...All questions will be sent to the moderator, Tom Brokaw, for consideration in the Town Hall debate.

"Sent...for consideration," certainly has echoes of "put in my circular file." But low participation would probably only convince the rather staid Commission that people are happy with the Lehrer/Brokaw/Ifill status quo. Anyway, time's a wastin' -- the deadline is tonight. Here's Why Tuesday?'s question:

Do you support the Weekend Voting Act? Moving Election Day to Saturday and Sunday makes voting more convenient, adds pollworkers, and eases the Tuesday rush. What are your plans to sustain increased voter participation for generations to come?

You can sign a petition to send along to Brokaw with Why Tuesday's question, or submit your own.

News Briefs

RSS Feed friday >

First POST: Revisions

Tim Wu says we shouldn't be so pessimistic about lobbying; Obama writes a thank you note to reddit; Ted Cruz wants to be the Uber of politics; Llamas!; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Impossibles

The FCC vote; a proxy Democratic primary battle in Chicago; Gov Andrew Cuomo begins deleting all state employee emails more than 90 days old; men talking about women in tech; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Off the Books

Chicago's "black site"; The New York Times reports "little guys" like Tumblr and Reddit have won the fight for net neutrality but fails to mention Free Press or Demand Progress; Hillary Clinton fan products on Etsy to inspire campaign slogans?; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Challenges

How Silicon Valley donors are thinking about Hillary Clinton 2016; Yahoo's security chief locks horns with the head of the NSA; Instagram location data catches a Congressman with his hand in the till; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Bows

CitizenFour wins best doc; Ken Silverstein resigned from First Look Media and took to Facebook to vent; why we need more Congressional staffers; who profits from the net neutrality debate; banning PowerPoint presentations; and much, much more. GO

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