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Who Controls the Presidential Debates? Journalists or the Campaigns?

BY Micah L. Sifry | Monday, October 15 2012

Photo: Don Relyea / Flickr

CNN's Candy Crowley, the moderator of the second presidential debate, which is structured like a "town-hall" meeting, has been saying publicly that she is looking forward to asking follow-ups of the candidates after they respond to questions from the audience, but both campaigns are reportedly pressing the debate commission to keep her from doing so, per their secret agreement governing the debates. Last week, in the course of an interview about how the commission was (or wasn't) making use of the internet's two-way nature, commission co-chair Mike McCurry told techPresident that Crowley would have "full editorial control" including the latitude to include her own follow-up queries. Now, with some details of the actual agreement between the campaigns coming out, he takes that back. Which leaves us asking: who really is in control here, journalists or the campaigns? Read More

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 ... Read More