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TV Networks Should Open Up the Presidential Debates


TV Networks Should Open Up the Presidential Debates

Jeff Cohen

If ten major TV networks got together and decided to nationally televise a presidential debate restricted to Republican nominee Donald Trump and right-leaning Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson, while barring other candidates including Democrat Hillary Clinton, it would be recognized as an act of media bias or exclusion.

But what if the televised debates this fall are restricted to just Trump and Clinton? That, too, needs to be recognized as an intentional act of media exclusion.


Television networks passe. Television networks should open up..., Howz bout go away. We are the media America, not them. Be The Media!


With so many people so dissatisfied with the Dem and repub candidates, let's open up the debates and let them know there are viable alternatives out there.

So much power is this country is built on conflict of interest - pure corruption.


The debates should also include substantive issues that can't simply be answered using platitudes. The entire M$M coverage of the election has two goals: 1) to make money, and 2) to obfuscate real issues from the public via infotainment pabulum.

"An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people."
--Thomas Jefferson


Of course the debates should be open.

The US is not a democracy and it does not want an informed electorate. That is why the debates are closed and Bernie capitulated in exaggerated fear of iTrumpet.


Signed the petition - signed others along the same line as well. We'll see if anything comes of it.

Every chance I get when a friend despairs about the D&R "choices", I remind them that there IS a 3rd choice. My choice is Stein, but many of my family will be choosing Johnson. But if they aren't included in the debates, too many people will believe that there are only 2 choices, and choose to stay home rather than vote.


The debates should include more candidates. Although I hope it doesn't happen this year because it would be great for Donald Trump. With all five candidates he would have much less time to speak so his ignorance on issues would not be so obvious. Also, it would be easier for him to engage in name calling as he did in the Republican debates. And who knows how Stein, Johnson, and McMullin would react to such juvenile tactics. I think if it is just Trump vs Clinton that Trump would even be more exposed as a fraudulent candidate than even so far. And his tactics are the same as fascists use toi get elected which means it is absolutely imperative that he be defeated. And of course people all over the world are cringing at the thought of Trump having the decision-making power over a vast arsenal of nuclear weapons.


Television networks can care less about us the people, it has been that way for years. They will toss us a bone here and there to keep us interested. Lets move past the nonsense. Power to the people, we are the new media, power to the people.


From the article: "In the economic realm, if Coke and Pepsi publicly and proudly announced that they were combining forces to exclude and silence any competition, one might expect anti-trust action . . "

Not in today's America. It is the failure to apply antitrust rules to media ownership to begin with that, in good measure, brings us to this condition.
That, along with a failure of the FCC to protect and insure that the public's air waves remain a substantial part of the public commons. As such, it should be illegal for networks or anyone else to earn profits from a vital aspect of our political process and discourse. The air waves, frequency bandwidths, rightfully belong to the public in general and are only licensed for use by corporations. Contingent with that licensing privilege ought be the obligation to provide the public with meaning information to allow them to effectively engage in our political process---this traditionally has been part of the law, it is referred to as the 'public service' obligation.


How about replacing the "conditional phraseology", "should" with MUST! in the article title????


Cohen sez: "Here’s an appropriate reaction from TV news decision-makers: 'Sorry,
CPD, we don’t need you to tell us who should be excluded from this fall’s debates.'"

This whole column seems to pit what the commission wants vs. what TV execs should do, rather overlooking the fact that they all work for the same bosses.


As somebody already mentioned, the CPD and the mainstream TV executives all work for the same bosses, making this sort of petition likely pointless, although we should still try (you never know).

If the petition fails, as I expect, I will boycott any debate that is not open to all four candidates. If enough people do that, it will be the case of somebody having a debate and nobody coming to watch it; let them continue the spiraling downward process of just talking among themselves and becoming more and more disconnected from reality.


The Debates should also transform into Actual Debates, instead of a Word Game of Musical Chairs where the Whistle Blows and Talk Stops after forty or fifty allotted seconds in answer to some Convoluted, Contrived Sound Bite question.


Thanks for the history, Jeff. You should revise the article's title to CHRONOLOGY OF DECEIT.

Although at least four of the six third party candidates (including Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson) in the 2012 POTUS election addressed TPP and TTIP, the media drowned their voices out as neither Obama or Romney ever mentioned TPP and TTIP, in the official debates or elsewhere.

By contrast TPP was widely discussed in the concurrent 2012 elections in Japan. Other than myself, the only Murkin I met who had ever heard of TPP at the time was a Murkin exchnage student returning to the US in October 2012.


TV networks, especially the MSM, care only about one thing: PROFITS. It seems to me, that the only way they will ever open up the debates, is if they can see it enhancing their bottom line.


We, the PEOPLE, own the airwaves, so We, the PEOPLE, have the right to tell any corporations broadcasting into OUR airwaves that they must make room for debates including ALL of the registered candidates in OUR elections. Any organization unwilling to meet OUR rules can simply turn in its FCC Broadcaster's License. Any official of a PRIVATE entity, such as the CPD, that wants to obstruct our PUBLIC elections needs to take a long-term vacation at Guantanamo.


That's what i logged in to point out:

The reason the networks / "mainstream" media collude with the duopoly "debate" commission, is that the two parties and the corporate media are all on the same team.


"Again, absence of public awareness and subsequent pressure allows the status quo to remain intact."

Awareness and clearer public consciousness are certainly factors. However, the public certainly opposed the bailouts to the big banks and that hardly stopped that graft from occurring.

When posters push the idea that "if only the citizens knew" they seem to think that knowledge alone constitutes agency. And that suggests that our nation is still a functioning Democratic Republic with its seminal laws functional and in place.

Is it?

In the post you responded to Mark insists that Americans are the world's most dangerous people.

That's a more clever way of blaming the citizens and conflating the average Joe or Jill with the actual soldiers inside the massive MIC.

Considering the FACT that the mass media lies (A majority of Fox News viewers still think Saddam Hussein was the perpetrator of 911)--with impunity; and considering the kind of wealth now held in few hands (as cited by Thomas Piketty), and factoring in the results of The Page and Gilens Study--which shows that the Public has virtually ZERO impact over policies that end up being pursued...

Why is it that this forum still has so many posters falling back upon or pushing a "Blame Citizens" meme?

Some of these same posters readily point out the graft, corruption, and systemic flaws IN the system. In spite of giving lip service to these very real encumbrances to Democratic representation, they still push that #1 meme.

It only deviates slightly from the mindset that robs the Black community of jobs and fair wages and then sets its agents into action--like human drift nets--prepared to hunt down any who rely upon an underground economy (betting, drugs, illegal trades) in order to survive. From this "evidence" the right wing pundits insist that there's lots of crime inside the Black Community.

Citizens robbed of agency, told lies often, given faux elections and lousy jobs are NOT the authors of today's illegal doctrines. Some do support these egregious policies, but others do not. Still others are dragged along because perhaps a family member secures income directly through one of the MIC's vast Hydra's tentacles.


This is a great idea. Although, not sure if tons boycotted the debates if they'd know? In other words, the networks are all about the $. So if a boycott would hurt their bottom line, then a boycott would be awesome. Otherwise, not so sure of it's efficacy.


Since it has become pretty clear that the great majority of plutocrats prefer HRC, and certainly those controlling the MSM do, the networks will probably come up with some justification for allowing Gary Johnson to participate if they determine that would help HRC. Under no circumstances will they allow Jill Stein to participate, as that not only would harm HRC's chances, but also would be providing a platform to someone who is a sophisticated and capable critic of the entire political system.