Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

The Media Has Too Much Say in Debates

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

The Media Has Too Much Say in Debates

Article excerpt

Byline: Star Parker

About a quarter of the way into the CNBC-hosted Republican debate at the University of Colorado, Sen. Ted Cruz reached back and cast a lightning bolt into the proceedings.

He jolted the debate, the whole debate process and possibly even the election.

THIS IS JOURNALISM?

CNBC's Carl Quintanilla raised the issue of the debt limit with Cruz.

The deal that Congress and the White House is about to make, said Quintanilla, "would ... prevent a government shutdown and calm financial markets that fear another Washington-created crisis is on the way. Does your opposition to it show that you are not the kind of problem-solver America voters want?"

What? This is journalism?

Cruz responded:

"The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don't trust the media. This is not a cage match. And if you look at the questions, 'Donald Trump, are you a comic book villain?' 'Ben Carson, can you do math?' 'John Kasich, will you insult two people over here?' 'Marco Rubio, why don't you resign?' 'Jeb Bush, why have your numbers fallen?' How about talking about the substantive issues that people care about?"

Cruz's incisive mind was on full display here as he methodically reproduced, without notes, the vacuous questions asked to each candidate.

Moderator Quintanilla sat looking amused.

THIS IS ABOUT VOTERS, NOT THE PRESS

But the applause from the audience and the subsequent move by the Republican National Committee to suspend the debate scheduled for February - which would have been sponsored by NBC and Telemundo - shows that Cruz hit a bullseye.

Now, thanks to that sparkling moment when Cruz woke everyone up by asking the most basic question - "What are we doing here?" - the Republican candidates and the RNC are doing some serious soul-searching about these debate platforms.

A political campaign is a job-interview process designed to vet all the candidates and pick the best one for the job. …

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