I have been silent for most of this campaign on issues related to media coverage in that I can see how it has come a long way from the years of excluding independent and third party candidates from participation. I can remember all too well the days of being held back without cause or reason.
I cannot remain silent on this issue. I was invited to a Channel 6 debate. Included in the format was a segment that allowed for direct candidate to candidate questioning. I agreed to this format, apparently either devised by the station’s management or in conjunction with the other candidates in that I was not consulted on it.
This morning arrived notice that the format was changed and the direct candidate to candidate questioning was being eliminated.
Now I understand that the station creates its own format, but I am suggesting that there is no valid reason for this move. The station contends it is due to an abundance of questions from viewers. I contend that if the candidates have avoided forums, public appearances, radio debates, and more, why should they be allowed to avoid direct confrontation from their opponents?
The abundance of questions from viewers could be reduced to writing and emailed to candidates after the debate for answers. To use this as an excuse for not having a full debate seems quite lame.
I may be arguing a subtle point, but I think the face to face confrontation is preferable to an audience than a question that will get a standard answer from a scripted candidate.
I feel I must call on the public to call Channel 6 or email the station to tell them that this change in format is denying them the ability to see the candidates act on their feet in response to questions.
Channel 6 describes it as a “minor change” in the format. I do not believe the public agrees.
Candidates have followed each other on the campaign trail and can recite their opponents’ standard answers practically verbatim. There is a need for the candidate to candidate segment to get to the questions that are not being asked.
I urge you to write to Christopher S. Tzianbos, Vice President and General Manager at ABC 6.
His email is: Ctzianabos@abc6.com
The phone number for ABC 6 is 453-8001.