WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Playing the Media Instead of Informing the Voters

Sep 22, 2015

The first couple forums featuring the Republican presidential candidates seemed to be more about entertainment than informing voters.

Shop Talk panelist Rich Egger said the reporting on the forums was not much better.  It generally focused on who got off the best zingers rather than who had anything of substance to say.

Shop Talk panelist Jonathan Ahl said that’s nothing new.  He feels that although the forums exhibited some signs of value, the focus will remain on the one-liner as long as there are so many people running and vying for the spotlight.

Ahl also said a greater sin was committed by the media before any forums were held. He said Fox News played up Donald Trump and brought him in to share his thoughts on a variety of issues as if the network was promoting him as a potential candidate.

Panelist Jasmine Crighton feels the candidates are being pitted against one another during the debates, which is one reason why the gatherings end up coming across as entertainment programs rather than informative forums.  She also feels Trump is leading in polls right now because he knows how to play the media to get attention.

The panelists are also curious how things will play out when the Democratic candidates hold a forum.