From The Grio — If you thought the Commission of Presidential Debates would consider the fact that the actual president is black when selecting moderators for the 2012 election cycle, you would be wrong. We’re in another presidential cycle, and we’ll have yet another round of presidential debates with all white moderators. The time for old white moderators should be long gone.
The list of 2012 debate moderators released Monday includes PBS’ Jim Lehrer, CNN’s Candy Crowley, and CBS’ Bob Schieffer for the three presidential debatesm and ABC’s Martha Raddatz for the vice presidential debate. PBS’ Jim Lehrer has already moderated 11 debates in the past and has said he no longer wants the job, but the Debate Commission still selected him to moderate a presidential debate this year. At least the Debate Commission didn’t select Lehrer to moderate all of the debates like they did in 1996.
After a number of petitions for the inclusion of a female moderator, there is some cause for celebration at the selection of CNN’s Candy Crowley. Crowley is the first woman in 20 years to moderate a presidential debate. While it’s a step in the right direction for the Debate Commission to notice that America is made up of people other than old white men, the lack of any people of color selected as moderators is glaring.
Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr. co-chairman on the Debate Commission, told Politico, “We picked the people we thought were the best. This is a two-year process, and all the way through we looked at new ideas, new people. But historically, we have stayed with television journalists, because the moderators have to be experienced.”