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Can Debate Moderators Stop Parroting GOP Talking Points?

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/09/12/can-debate-moderators-stop-parroting-gop-talking-points


Your suggested questions are phenomenal. It would be amazing to see the media dedicate itself to letting the candidates present their views rather than always, always having to respond to a disparaging remark disguised as a question.


The framing of the issues is by design and not by some mistaken oversight on behalf of the moderators. You can surely bet that the corporate sponsors of our mainstream media are scripting every question as a condition for their continued financial support. There is no way that the corporate establishment will permit an honest and open debate about healthcare anymore than they would back an honest and open debate about reducing the military, dismantling nuclear arsenals, ending apartheid in Israel or debating the benefits of electoral reform. Even when institutions of higher learning invite candidates to “openly discuss issues”, the candidates are obliged to refuse the invitations unless their corporate sponsored ‘managers’ can review and alter the questions of the debate in advance. Even questions by the audience are closely screened to make sure that no one deviates from the narrow framework of the corporate narrative.
I think the author knows this instinctively, but is merely expressing his frustration at the inability of ANY DEBATE to break free of the framing demanded by the .1%. The networks actually suffer from a lack of interested viewers for the debates due to the strict guidelines of their corporate sponsors, but they have no choice as the funding of their networks supersede the need for the public to experience honest debates.


Mogulescu sez:
“This (question) framing took for granted that the biggest healthcare issue is the future of private insurance companies rather than how to guarantee that all Americans receive quality healthcare.”

Well, if you look at the makeup of the lobbyists who are welcomed into Congressional offices, yes — the priority is the continued flow of insurance company donations investments to those “public servants.”


The “debates” are a total FARCE! For anyone paying attention, it is obvious that the fix is in for Warren and we are headed for another 2016 and another four years of the most insane Resident in history.

Case in point, from *Reuters: https://news.yahoo.com/factbox-sparks-fly-five-things-195313600.html

  • A news source I no longer respect.

Right ON, 'Cadet!!   Your analysis is far more astute than Mogulescu’s.


The headline asks, “Can Debate Moderators Stop Parroting GOP Talking Points?” Okay, I’ll bite:

First, they’re not “GOP talking points,” they’re the talking points of the 1%, who, except for a handful of individual Ds, are thoroughly bipartisan. As Space_Cadet explains in detail, the media are not owned by the 99%, so to expect them not to press their class interests in favor of the 99% is the worst sort of wishful thinking.

Second, they’re not “debates,” they’re carefully scripted reality shows; and third, they’re not “moderators,” but rather corporate gatekeepers getting paid handsomely to maintain the illusion of democracy at work.

Until the League of Women Voters is back at the helm, with no preconditions imposed by the D/R duopoly, I advise a total boycott of these worse-than-useless spectacles.


A quibble: The CNN town hall on climate chaos actually presented well worthwhile questions from, for example, young people from the Sunrise Movement.

These “debates” have all the substance of a cheesy game show, so might as well use a game show format. Have a gong to cut off idiots like Delaney, give the contenders a chance to win a new campaign tour bus, maybe a golf cart with the presidential seal, supply everyone with a pie to throw at their opponents, throw in a talent contest and more. Might as well get creative.


Bravo! Exactly Correct. This is Scripted, Drama, TV. With a desired outcome from the 1%. Nothing to see here!


Those “talking points” are the DC dialect that the GOP created four decades ago. Within a decade that language was adopted by the DNC and media to the extent that its the only language that nearly everybody in DC speaks.

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Agree with MrQRO

Well stated GuildF312S. Precisely the situation

I haven’t watched any of these 3 ring circus events and won’t be watching this one either.

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I don’t understand why we have to abolish private insurance. To me, it presents as a stumbling block to Medicare for All. Even Canada allows people to by supplemental insurance.


“While the health care system in Canada covers basic services, including primary care physicians and hospitals, there are many services that are not covered. These include things like dental services, optometrists, and prescription medications.

“Private health insurance plans are usually offered as part of employee benefit packages in many companies. Incentives usually include vision and dental care. Alternatively, Canadians can purchase insurance packages from private insurance providers. “The main reason many choose to purchase private insurance is to supplement primary health coverage. For those requiring services that may not be covered under provincial health insurance such as corrective lenses, medications, or home care, a private insurance plan offsets such medical expenses.”

It doesn’t make sense to take the option of private insurance off the table, especially since that seems to be a political sticking point. Let people buy it if they want to - after we have Medicare for all.


There is no proposal to abolish private insurance.

Supplemental plans that do not compete with the M4A coverage can still be purchased under both the House and Senate legitimate M4A plans: HR1394 and S1129. Though there will be little need for such plans as both of these plans are comprehensive, covering even dental, vision, and hearing all of this with no deductible, no copay, and no premiums.

You need not worry though, for those of you who want to help keep the for profit cartels profitable, you will still be afforded the opportunity to continue contributing to their bottom line with access to supplemental plans.


What would private plans cover? Fancier digs while in hospital, maid and butler service and sterling eatery?
Maybe it is wanting the best surgeon in the country or just wanting better than someone else. Class warfare is hard to knock down.

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GuildF312S has captured the essence of the charade:

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Why on earth would corporate media stop parroting Repubican talking points after all these years?

It’s not what they do -and its not what their owners and editors perceive to be in their interests.

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Can Debate Moderators Stop Parroting GOP Talking Points? No. Next question.

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It’s fine that Mogulescu sounds off about it, but no, they are not going to do that, now are they?

Calling these talking points Republican is a rhetorical move to dismiss them, and most of us would be happy enough to do that. But these are also conservative Democratic talking points, and they are woven all through the debates to impede candidates who are not conservative. This is much like the general refusal of the same sector of the press to cover Bernie Sanders, the move to exclude Tulsi Gabbard, and the move to pass Elizabeth Warren and Sanders’ positions as roughly equal.

None of this should be surprising at this point. These same institutions were involved in the rigging of the '16 nomination. We are unlikely to see the process so well documented in this cycle, but there was no institutional overhaul after the previous cycle, so we have every reason to feel fairly certain that it will happen again.


If anything these systems have gotten even more rigged. I think I can starting to see why George Carlin never voted. It is all a shell game.

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