OH, I'M SO GLAD ONE OF OUR GUYS SAID IT – AT 8:31 A.M. ET: Hugh Hewitt, a conservative commentator and law teacher, is on the case - trying to nip in the bud a bad idea. He is the only pundit who recognized the danger this quickly. From The Washington Examiner:
With all due respect to Nancy Reagan, her proposal that the first Republican debate of the 2012 season be held at the Reagan Library in the spring of 2011 is worse than a nonstarter. The country needs to focus on the hugely important congressional debates this spring, not on made-for-MSM, liberal-dominated GOP wrestling matches.
The idea is itself an insult to conservative activists and new media. A quick rejection by GOP candidates of the presumptuous declaration of inevitability by Politico.com and NBC that they would be in charge would go a long way toward recognizing that these outlets, like most of the Beltway-Manhattan media elite, went in the tank for President Obama in 2008 and won't be allowed to dictate the terms of the 2012 presidential race.
Yea, team. That says it.
...both outlets are significantly biased to the left, and not just to the president, but to the whole Beltway culture which is inherently big-government oriented and dominated by the conventional big-government wisdom about every debate. Very few Beltway media voices retain any connection to the conservative grass roots or the GOP's base, and those that do don't work at Politico or NBC.
In fact, those journalists never appear at these debates, which are instead given over to lefties like the affable Anderson Cooper, the professional but still MSM-driven Wolf Blitzer, the amiable Brian Williams or the talented-but-still-Beltway-driven John Harris or Jim Lehrer.
Can we be honest? They are all liberals. All of them. Not one of the questioners that could or would be proposed by Politico or NBC would be remotely in touch with the cares, concerns, and passions of the GOP's primary electorate. The process of choosing a GOP nominee should not be mediated by the left-wing media -- again.
Hewett has set the terms of a discussion that we, as a nation, need to have: Who runs presidential debates? Who chooses the questioners? Why are there rarely any representatives of new, more conservative media? Why do all the questioners work for large news organizations inside the beltway?
"Meet the Press," when it was run by the late Lawrence Spivack, often had reporters from small newspapers, even though they might have been assigned to Washington. That's a good place to begin. Then go through the staff roster of, say, National Review or The Weekly Standard.
November 15, 2010