The board of directors consists of liberals like former television anchorman Charlie Gibson and so-called moderate Republicans like former U.S. Senators Olympia Snowe and John Danforth. In fact, in an interview last December, Danforth lamented the conservative direction of the Republican Party and labeled Donald Trump “a self-proclaimed great man.” It is an outrage that the commission would keep on their board of directors someone who holds such anti-Trump views.
Clearly, the commission is biased against any conservative like Trump. However, even a moderate like 2012 GOP presidential nominee like Mitt Romney faced unfair treatment. In the infamous encounter with moderator Candy Crowley, Romney was denied the opportunity to make a final statement, even though it was outlined in the rules. Crowley also supported President Obama in a dispute with Romney about the terrorist attack in Benghazi. Moderators are not supposed to take sides; they are supposed to be objective.
For the 2016 debates, the commission has once again chosen liberal moderators, with the exception of Chris Wallace of Fox News, who is a truly objective journalist. The liberals include Lester Holt of NBC, Anderson Cooper of CNN, and Elaine Quijano of CBS and Martha Raddatz of ABC, who moderated a debate in 2012. It should be noted that Republicans have long been skeptical of Raddatz since President Obama attended her wedding in 1991.
Trump blasted the commission in July when it was announced that two of the debates were scheduled against NFL games. Trump tweeted to his followers that “As usual, Hillary and the Dems are trying to rig the debates so 2 are up against major NFL games.”
The commission claimed that the dates were set and they could not change the dates. However, if they wanted to avoid NFL games they could have scheduled the debates for Tuesday or Wednesday nights when there are no games scheduled. Instead, they chose to schedule at the same time, which will surely impact the audience for the debates.
Trump believes that the commission is trying to limit the viewing audience for the presidential debates as the DNC did in the primaries by scheduling debates on NFL game days. The DNC tactic was a ploy to help Hillary Clinton in her battle against Bernie Sanders for the party’s nomination.
For these debates, despite the conflicts and the liberal moderators, there will be a significant audience. Due to Trump’s personality and flair, there is tremendous interest in this year’s presidential debates.
Hopefully, Trump will be given ample opportunities in the debates to present his ideas on how to move this country in a positive direction. The commission’s questionable scheduling and moderator selection notwithstanding, Trump should do well in these upcoming debates as long as he is treated fairly. Unfortunately, receiving fair treatment in the presidential debates for a Republican presidential candidate, especially a maverick conservative like Donald Trump, is far from guaranteed.