Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Marc Ash: May the Best Man Win

May the Best Man Win


By Marc Ash
Thursday 30 September 2004
t r u t h o u t | Editorial
http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/100104Z.shtml

Tonight George W. Bush and John Kerry will face off in the first of three presidential debates that may well decide the direction of our nation for the next four years. The importance of the debates to the two candidates is profound, but it pales in comparison to the implications for the country.

As in every debate, rules have been established and are necessary to achieve fairness. The rules for this year's debates were worked out by two veteran heavyweight negotiators, Vernon Jordan on behalf of the Kerry campaign and James Baker on behalf of the Bush campaign. While the details are extensive, one point jumps out as a distinct disservice to the process.

Neither candidate will be permitted to directly address or directly respond to the other. In short, Jordan and Baker have agreed that Kerry and Bush may debate but may not converse. We find that difficult to justify. Both Mr. Kerry and Mr. Bush are seasoned debaters and experienced statesmen; they are fully capable of making their points to one another. We doubt that the public interest is best served by less.

The final responsibility for enforcing the rules will fall to the moderators Jim Lehrer, Charles Gibson and Bob Schieffer for the three presidential debates and Gwen Ifill for the Vice Presidential debate. All are experienced journalists and their personal integrity lends substantial credibility to the process.

The judgement exercised by the moderators will play a key role in determining how thorough and meaningful these crucial upcoming exchanges will be for the community, and our democratic process. Both Mr. Kerry and Mr. Bush are likely to want some confrontation on the issues. They and we should have it.

You can send comments to t r u t h o u t Executive Director Marc Ash at: director@truthout.org.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Dice Are Loaded Against Women In Public Life

If they enter public life, women can expect a type of intense (and contradictory) scrutiny that is rarely applied to their male counterparts... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Harry/Meghan Affair, And Iran

Those “Meghzit” headlines seem apt, given how closely Britain’s January 31 exit from the European Union resembles the imminent departure from the Royal Family’s top team of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. For young Iranians, the accidental downing of the Ukrainian airliner is just the latest example of the deadly incompetence and dishonesty of their leaders... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Iran Aftermath

So, evidently, you can get away with murder. It looks as though a further escalation in the ongoing war between Iran and the US has been avoided – mainly thanks to Iran NOT responding in kind to the recklessly unhinged behaviour by the United States. Given the massive outpouring of public grief in Iran over the murder of Qassem Soleimani, some reciprocal action by Iran was necessary, but (so far) it has been almost entirely symbolic in nature... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Aussie Bush Fires And Suleimani

In popular culture, Australia is often portrayed as Western civilisation’s last unspoiled frontier, or as its final refuge from planetary disaster. In Nevil Shute’s best-selling 1950s novel On The Beach for instance, Melbourne served as the backdrop ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Best Music Of 2019

This was a year where so many of the highlights came from female musicians. But amid all that richness, there was one standout album... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Scotland’s Renewed Independence Battle

Brexit has always been very much an English obsession... So while it isn’t surprising that Boris Johnson won the election, he might also have lost the United Kingdom in the process. More>>