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Join TSPR for a weekly conversation about media issues. News Director Rich Egger and expert panelists discuss what’s in the news about the news business.

Controlling the Questions

The Republican presidential candidates made demands recently concerning the format of debates and the questions asked.  They want more say over how the forums are handled.

Shop Talk panelist Jasmine Crighton said some of the debates have been poorly run and some of the questions were dumb.  But she thinks the candidates are off-base with their demands. 

Crighton also said the GOP candidates’ complaints have not been limited to the debates. For example, Ben Carson has complained about the “liberal media” going after him.  Crighton said Carson and the others should expect follow up questions to statements they’ve made about their campaign and about their past.

Panelist Rich Egger said it’s time to retire the tired complaint about the “liberal media.”  He said Democrat Hillary Clinton has probably been scrutinized more than any candidate running this year. 

Panelist Jonathan Ahl said Carson and Donald Trump are the two biggest instigators of change in the debate format.  He noted they’re also the two who’ve never served in public office and who’ve never had to stand up to public scrutiny.

Ahl doesn’t like the way the Republican debates have been divided into an under-card and a main event.  He said some of the candidates in the large field are getting marginalized. Ahl said the candidates should be split randomly into smaller groups with debates held over the course of several nights. 

Rich is TSPR's News Director.