Rankled Republicans are in revolt since the most recent debate: The questions aren’t substantive and the moderators are more interested in “gotcha moments” intended to embarrass candidates. Sen. Ted Cruz is even suggesting that moderators must have voted in a Republican primary as a “litmus test” for “fairness.” This sounds very much like McCarthyism to me.
In the latest debate both Sen. Cruz and Gov. Chris Christie chastised the moderators for concentrating on meaningless items instead of substantive issues.
To be fair, the debate format is set up to be a bit quarrelsome, and we must ask if that is what voters really want. Do we want a new reality show for politics?
I don’t think so. I think voters want to hear the substance behind a flat tax plan, an immigration reform plan, a fiscally responsible budget plan, and plans to strengthen our economy and national security.
However, the GOP candidates are making a substantive point about the media in general, calling for journalists to be professionals again.
Too often it seems the journalists are looking for the headline moment (usually a misquote or poorly stated point by a candidate) and not challenging lack of substance. And when they do challenge, the tone of the questions is too often more “sniping” than professional (witness CNBC’s John Harwood’s exchange with Donald Trump suggesting Mr. Trump is a comic book character).
We don’t need a “voting record” test for the media. We just need journalists to hold themselves responsible for staying within the ethics of their own profession.
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