ABC’s Charles Gibson is frozen out from the presidential Debates; PBS’s gets 2, NBC, CBS get 1. Jim Lehrer and Gwen Ifill, both from The Newshour With Jim Lehrer, represent CBS, Tom Brokaw represents NBC, and Bob Schieffer, CBS.
The subtext is that ABC probably lost out because of the journalistic travesty of a debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton prior to Super Tuesday, with a ‘gotcha’ style of questioning that irked and raised the ire of many viewers, causing ratings losses for World News for a period after the debate.
From a journalistic standpoint, these are excellent selection of nation’s best broadcast journalists, combining experience, credibility, and fairness in their reporting. This should make for interesting, informative debates.
Press Release from the Commission on Presidential Debates:
Paul G. Kirk, Jr. and Frank J. Fahrenkopf, Jr., co-chairmen of the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), today announced the moderators for the 2008 general election presidential and vice presidential debates. The moderators, and the schedule and locations for the debates (as announced on November 21, 2007), are as follows:
First presidential debate
Friday, September 26
The University of Mississippi, Oxford, Miss.
Executive Editor and Anchor, The NewsHour, PBS
Vice presidential debate
Thursday, October 2
Washington University in St. Louis, Mo.
Senior Correspondent, The NewsHour, and Moderator and Managing Editor, Washington Week, PBS
Second presidential debate (town meeting)
Tuesday, October 7
Belmont University, Nashville, Tenn.
Special Correspondent, NBC News
Third presidential debate
Wednesday, October 15
Hofstra University, Hempstead, N.Y.
CBS News Chief Washington Correspondent, and Host, Face the Nation
Each debate will begin at 9:00 p.m. EDT.
The format for the debates, announced on November 21, 2007, will be:
— Each debate will have a single moderator and last for 90 minutes.
— In the first and third presidential debates and the vice presidential debate, the candidates will be seated with the moderator at a table.
— One presidential debate will focus primarily on domestic policy and one presidential debate will focus primarily on foreign policy. The second presidential debate will be held as a town meeting in which citizens will pose questions to the candidates. The vice presidential debate will cover both foreign and domestic topics.
— During the first and third presidential debates, and the vice presidential debate, the time will be divided into eight, ten-minute segments. The moderator will introduce each segment with an issue on which each candidate will comment, after which the moderator will facilitate further discussion of the issue, including direct exchange between the candidates for the balance of that segment.
— The participants in the town meeting will pose their questions to the candidates after reviewing their questions with the moderator for the sole purpose of avoiding duplication. The participants will be chosen by the Gallup Organization and will be undecided voters from the Nashville, Tenn. standard metropolitan statistical area. During the town meeting, the moderator has discretion to use questions submitted by Internet.
— Time at the end of the final presidential debate will be reserved for closing statements.
Participants The CPD 2008 Candidate Selection Criteria, announced on November 21, 2007, will be the exclusive means of determining the candidates to be invited to participate in the debates.
For more information, please visit http://www.debates.org.