“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Does Someone At Fox News Read My Blog?

After the Fox News/Google GOP candidate debate in Florida last month, I wrote in this post,

"I think what would be more meaningful to me would be something like the following. A network provides a weekly two-hour slot for its 'candidate of the week.' One of the GOP presidential hopefuls sits on a set with one or two moderators and answers questions from online feeds and a live audience. Moderators provide follow-up questions and/or fill in background on the candidate's prior remarks on the topic. Or contrast their stance with other candidates, etc.

And, for good measure, the original audience/online questioner gets a few minutes of give-and-take with the candidate, so if the latter evades the question, the questioner can complain about that and note it for everyone else.

I really don't care so much what Mitt thinks about Rick. Or what Newt thinks about anyone. Or what Rick (Santorum) does to try to look relevant.

In the end, I care more about how these people interact with prospective voters than how they fence with each other. I don't expect them to agree with each other, so what's the surprise in these bear-baiting formats?"
Fox News has initiated something of a pale version of my suggestion. Beginning last week on Brett Baier's 6pm program, one GOP candidate at a time will be a guest in what Baier calls the 'middle seat' among his panel. The first to do so was Michele Bachmann.
It's not enough, but it's a start. Missing are audience participation and a more gritty give-and-take for, say, 5 minutes between a guy like Charles Krauthammer and Bachmann. But it is far better than the beauty contest formats now popular in all the debates.
The Baier format, like my recommendation, allows the candidate to position her/himself against Wonderboy, which is what GOP and independent voters really want to hear. Who cares how Perry and Gingrich differ with each other on air? We're only nominating one of them.
Surely the bulk of interested voters can figure out for themselves, after hearing Gingrich and Perry separately, which they prefer. It won't be decided by how they spar on camera.
Now if only Baier's production staff member who reads my blog will begin to solicit viewer Skype or other videoconference questions from computers to the program, and expand the segment to, say, two half-hours per week, we're much closer to an ideal format.
And, for the record, I don't believe anyone at Fox read my prior linked post. Baier's program's modest nod in the direction of my ideas is, I think, far too limited to suggest it is any more than their own very small attempt to give viewers an alternative presentation of GOP presidential candidates other than the mega-debate farces.

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