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The Corrupt Presidential Debate

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posted on Sep, 29 2004 @ 03:49 PM
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Presidential debates have always been popular since the first televised debate between Nixon and Kennedy, which drew 60 million viewers nationwide. During the debate of 1980, 80 million people turned on their televisions to watch the debate between Reagan and Carter. But during the last few presidential campaigns, fewer people have watched the debates. In fact, the debates haven't really even been real debates at all.

There were no presidential debates from 1961-1975 due to the Communications Act of 1934, which forced broadcasting companies to give equal air time to all candidates, third party canidates included. This act was suspended during 1960, which allowed Kennedy to debate with Nixon.

In 1975, the FCC created a loophole which allowed debates to be televised. The League of Women Voters sponsered the debates from 1976-1984, and they included the participation of third party canidates.

But in 1988, Republicans and Democrats decided they wanted more control over debates. They wanted to control everything fromwhat questions were asked to what candidates were allowed to participate, thus creating the Commision on Presidential Debates(CPD).

The CPD is a corrupt, non-public, private organization whose main goal is to make sure that voters don't see third party candidates that will bring up civil issues that Republican and Democratic candidates don't want to focus on, and so candidates don't make election threatening mistakes.



Still co-chaired by Frank Fahrenkopf and Paul Kirk, the CPD secretly submits to the demands of the Republican and Democratic candidates. Behind closed-doors, negotiators for the major party nominees jointly draft debate contracts called Memoranda of Understanding that dictate precisely how the debates will be run – from decreeing who can participate, to selecting who will ask the questions, to ordaining the temperature in the auditoriums. Masquerading as a nonpartisan sponsor, the CPD obediently implements and conceals the contracts. These candidate-controlled debates are now primarily funded through tax-deductible corporate contributions, and debate sites have become crass corporate carnivals, with Anheuser-Busch girls passing out free beer and pamphlets denouncing beer taxes. This is not surprising; Fahrenkopf is the nation’s leading gambling lobbyist, and Kirk has lobbied for pharmaceutical companies. The consequences of such deceptive major party control are distressing. Candidates that voters want to see are often excluded, such as Ross Perot. Issues the American people want to hear about are often ignored, such as free trade and child poverty. And the debates have been reduced to a series of glorified bipartisan news conferences, in which the Republican and Democratic candidates exchange memorized soundbites. Accordingly, debate viewership has plummeted; twenty-five million fewer people watched the 2000 presidential debates than watched the 1992 presidential debates. Walter Cronkite called CPD-sponsored presidential debates an “unconscionable fraud” and
accused the major party candidates of “sabotaging the electoral process.”

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Basically, the debates are run by a corrupt, corporate funded organization that's only purpose is to make sure the two parties get additional coverage that's undamaging to their candidate's image.

Edit: For a very good, in depth source on why the debates are debates no more, check out this NOW interview with George Farah.

Sources:
www.pbs.org...
opendebates.org...

[edit on 5-10-2004 by Slayer]



 
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