The event occurring tonight involving Kerry and Bush is not a debate. However, I’ll watch it, since the outcome will influence the home stretch heavily, shaping the rest of the election and framing the candidates in the news.
However, I, like others, do not want anyone to imagine that they’re watching a real debate. So, using a link provided by Steve Laniel, I’m posting this list of The Top 10 Secrets They Don’t Want You to Know About the Debates by Connie Rice, for NPR’s The Tavis Smiley Show.
Read on to preview the list without the attendant explanations.
(10.) They aren’t debates!
(9.) The debates were hijacked from the truly independent League of Women Voters in 1986.
(8.) The “independent and non-partisan” Commission on Presidential Debates is neither independent nor non-partisan.
(7.) The secretly negotiated debate contract bars Kerry and Bush from any and all other debates for the entire campaign.
(6.) The debate contract effectively excludes all other serious presidential candidates from participating in the debates.
(5.) All members of the studio audience must be certified as “soft” supporters of Bush and Kerry, under selection procedures they approve.
(4.) These “soft” audience members must “observe in silence.”
(3.) The “extended discussion” portion of the debate cannot exceed 30 seconds.
(2.) Important issues are locked out by the CPD debate rules and party control.
(1.) Fortune 100 corporations are the main funders of the CPD-sponsored debates, and the CPD’s co-chairs are corporate lobbyists.