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Open Letter to NBC Moderator Calls for Candidates to Debate 'Democracy Itself'


Open Letter to NBC Moderator Calls for Candidates to Debate 'Democracy Itself'

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

Before they tackle foreign policy, climate change, the economy, or public education at upcoming presidential debates, "the candidates must first debate democracy itself," reads an open letter to NBC's Lester Holt, who will moderate the first face-off between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump later this month.

"We'll never break the death-grip that Big Oil, Big Banks, Big Pharma, and weapons companies have on America if we don't first debate democracy."
—John Sellers, Other 98


I signed, but the major networks are likely to wipe their assess with this petition. Their media were the tools the oligarchy used to destroy democracy in the first place.


“It’s evident this election cycle that Americans are fed up with a democracy that isn’t working for them,” said Rahna Epting, chief of staff at Every Voice.”
Well I think we can take that a step further and ask if it isn’t working for the people, can it even be called a democracy?


This is a very perceptive request. The issue really is whether the collective mind of the majority of the voting electorate has any more wisdom to offer in the guidance of the national affairs than the oligarchs presently ruling the US.
The politically correct answer is that the US is a democracy. The more historically accurate answer is that the US has never been such and shows no serious signs of ever becoming such.
Most of us are familiar with Abraham Lincoln’s solemn declaration that “the government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish”. It makes for ringing oratory, but: Was it ever true? Is it true today? Should it even be considered to be a workable solution to the issues of governance?
If so, where is the proof? If not then why should we all continue to collectively kid ourselves otherwise?


(a satirical view) Moderators announced for debates

This year’s presidential debates will be moderated by Democracy NOW!'s Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, Alternative Radio’s David Barsamian, and ConsortiumNews.com’s Robert Parry.

The corporate, bi-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates on Friday unveiled the list of moderators, which had been hotly debated in recent weeks.

Barsamian will handle the pivotal first presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., on Sept. 26. This will be his first time moderating a general election presidential debate.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump recently said he had never heard of any of them.

Goodman and Gonzalez will team up to cover the town hall-style debate on Oct. 9 at Washington University in St. Louis.

Goodman is known for being an irresistable conversationlist to Bill Clinton when he got on the air with her via telephone in 2000, and has hosted third-party debates on Democracy NOW!

Parry will moderate the third debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas on Oct. 19. Parry was one of the reporters who helped expose the Iran-Contra scandal for the Associated Press in the mid-1980s.

Peter Phillips of Project Censored will moderate the only vice presidential debate on Oct. 4.

Missing the cut were all the big names in corporate media. A spokesperson for the debates commission said “It was time for a major change. Though thoroughly rooted in the corporate corruption of politics, even we were finally too embarrassed by the insipid tripe that tried to pass as meaningful questioning in our past productions.”

In spite of this dramatic shift in debate moderators, Green Party and Libertarian candidates will be continue to be excluded. “Allowing the moderators to attempt to actually inform the public about the candid-ates is all the candid-ness we can handle at this time,” the spokesman continued, “the idea of having to also hear issues addressed seriously from the candidates themselves just really makes our brains hurt real bad. Besides that, Libertarians are too selfish and shallow even by our low standards.”

An anonymous source has suggested that the moderators, as a condition of accepting their roles, stipulated the presence of a slate of expert questioners on a variety of topics, including Ray McGovern on the role of intelligence gathering, Robert McChesney, Craig Aaron and John Nichols on media policy, Michael Copps on FCC issues, Noam Chomsky on foreign policy, Ralph Nader on consumer affairs, Glen Ford on race relations, Jay Coghlan on nuclear weapons policy, Greg Palast on voting fraud and William Black and Stephanie Kelton on economics. Immigration and Global Warming may be subjects of separate future debates as yet unscheduled.

The debate promises to be pivotal in the presidential race, as polls show the battle between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton as to which is less suitable to be president is tightening.

Clinton leads nationally by 3.9 points, according to a RealClearPolitics average of polls.


By their actions, I have the impression that these mega-corporations are not particularly interested in democracy.
If the TPP is ratified, they’ll no longer have to bother with democracy’s infringement upon their literal right to do almost anything they please.

The corporation as asteroid.


Well done.



What a joke! The so-called presidential debates are a farce to begin with, being run by the 2-party duopoly and limited to the two corrupt mainstream candidates. 75% of Americans want to see the Libertarian and Green Party candidates Johnson and Stein in the debate, but they are excluded by rules written by the Commission, which is a creature of the Democratic and Republican parties. The even itself is undemocratic, so how can they honestly debate democracy?

Although most Americans are justly concerned about the corrosive effect of campaign cash on candidates, few recognize that it also has a corrosive effect on the media, which get the lion’s share of that cash. It’s no coincidence that the media consider legitimate precisely those candidates who spend multiple millions on campaign ads. Will media moguls bite the hand that feeds them?


thank you very much!
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So what is the question here, do we still have a democracy or how would you define what a democracy is?


Democracy or rule of the commoners?


That’s what you and I want, but that is not what the plutocrats like Hillary and Trump want.
Because the oligarchy told them that they didn’t want that.


The candidates are sent a set of questions from which to choose.
They choose the one’s they want to answer.
The moderator asks them the chosen questions.


When the “goddamn piece of paper” was written they gave us a republic, which was even worse then the system we have now.
“What do we have Mr. Franklin?”
“A republic if you can keep it.”


But the U.S. is exceptional.


When enough of us say we e had enough by voting FOR a party that is itself a CAUSE worthy of a fight for your life, there will be a GREEN party president and we’ll act like we’re all stuck on this space ship together.


Dr.Jill Stein M.D., Ajamu Baraka is America’s Dream Team!


Silly question. The rich have full representation, the middle class have quite a lot, and the poor have no representation whatsoever, no voice in the public forum.

The US itself is an economic entity, and virtually every aspect of life is determined by economic/class status. We exist to serve corporate interests, and we discard those who fail to be of service. This is all that the US is about today.


Who knows what the people want? Media claim they know what the middle class want, but the middle class is less than half the population.