CNN Won’t Allow Reporters In Debate Studio

The White House Correspondents Association has expressed concern that CNN will not allow a pool reporter inside the debate studio to cover and document the candidates’ remarks.

Media reporter Ben Mullin of The New York Times posted:

Journalists are also requesting access and being denied:

Since the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates is no longer running the debates, a for-profit media company is now deciding who gets access to a presidential debate that is supposed to be held for the information and benefit of the American people.

There are some serious concerns being raised. A big concern is who will be transcribing what the candidates say, and will those transcriptions include remarks that occur when a candidate’s microphone is turned off?

For the first time in the history of televised presidential debates, at least in the modern era, there will be no independent reporters in the studio to document and confirm what is being said.

CNN isn’t allowing other reporters in the debate studio because they want to maintain their exclusive. CNN’s decisionmakers appear to be placing their profits ahead of the public good, which is why taking running the debates out of the hands of a bipartisan commission looks like a really bad idea.

Everything might go fine, and there may be no problems, but the country is going to be watching a debate with no independent oversight and accountability that is presenting it, and that seems like a bad deal for democracy.

Jason Easley
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