The 'Law And Order' Method Of Choosing A Debate Moderator

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | October 15, 2012 | 3:56 PM EDT

If neither side is happy with CNN’s Candy Crowley moderating Tuesday night’s presidential debate, maybe they should choose moderators the same way they choose juries on “Law and Order.”

As reports:

“There is not much that President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney agree on, but one common bond has emerged. Neither campaign is particularly thrilled at the prospect of CNN reporter Candy Crowley’s moderating their townhall-style debate on Tuesday.”

“The two campaigns have independently contacted the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) to voice concerns that Crowley’s taking a too-heavy hand in steering topics could skunk the debate.”

So, how do we make everybody happy?

Maybe, presidential debate moderators should be chosen the way I’ve seen juries chosen on “Law and Order.”

Each side can refuse a certain number of moderators without reason, and others for “good cause.”

Most importantly, moderators, like jurors, could be preferred if they've never read the paper or watched television or developed any opinion (or knowledge) of the issues to be debated. Ideally, twelve people who’ve been living on a desert island, without access to cable (or satellite, or Internet, or phones, etc.).

Or, maybe, just maybe, moderators could conduct themselves ethically, impartially, and honestly in a manner befitting the highest journalist standards, putting the education of the public before their personal agendas.

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