My take on the media handling of the debates as published in the Florida Sun-Sentinel

Florida Sun Sentinel

Letters to the Editor

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Campaign coverage couldn’t be any worse

    The press is doing a great disservice to the political process — and it is against both parties. Not long ago, the Huffington Post was rightfully criticized for announcing that its entertainment reporters would cover   Donald Trump. That was an egregious breach of journalistic ethics.

In reality, virtually all the media covers the presidential campaign as entertainment. They have placed ratings above any semblance of fairness. On the Republican side, they give Trump the vast majority of air time. On the Democratic side, they cover Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as if they are the only candidates.

Then there are the debates. I am aghast at the formats. The same favored Republican and Democratic front runners are featured in the debate promotions and pre-debate programs — videos of Trump, Clinton and Sanders and barely a listing of the others. There is no equal-time provision, meaning Clinton got almost four times the air time as did   Lincoln Chaffee. The same was true of Trump.

Rather than position the candidates on stage by lottery, they give the temporary front runner the most prominent position. In the case of the GOP, they demeaned one-third of the candidates by relegating them to what became popularly known as “the kiddie pool.”

The biggest shock is that the political parties and candidates would have agreed to these ground rules.

Larry Horist, Boca Raton

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