Thursday, August 24, 2006

U.S. Senate candidates to debate in Springfield on primetime television

The nation will be watching the Ozarks in October.

U.S. Sen. Jim Talent and State Auditor Claire McCaskill agreed to a primetime televised debate in southwest Missouri on Monday night, October 16th.

The debate will take place at the studios of KY3-TV in Springfield. The debate will be sponsored by KY3, the Springfield News-Leader, Ozarks Public Television and KSMU Radio. KY3 News anchor Jerry Jacob will moderate the debate.

During the one-hour event, the candidates will take questions from a three member panel of journalists: KY3 political reporter David Catanese, News-Leader editorial page editor Tony Messenger, and KSMU Senior Governmental Affairs reporter Missy Shelton.

This debate is the second debate agreed to by the candidates. Talent and McCaskill will appear on Meet the Press with Tim Russert on Sunday October 8.

McCaskill debated Governor Blunt on KY3 back in 2004. The last time Senator Talent debated in Springfield was six years ago, when he was running for Governor against Bob Holden.

KY3 won the national Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism for its coverage of the 2004 election. KY3 hosted a debate in 2004 between Missouri candidates for Governor, Matt Blunt and Claire McCaskill.


PbBut said...

Dave, I hope you're getting your softball questions together for McCaskill so Bob T. will continue to have a windmill to charge.

bobicus tomatocus said...

I cannot wait. I simply wish we could trade Dave out for an out of retirement stint for Dennis Graves. I believe Dennis would really put the screws to poth parties. Lauri Patton would do a great job as well.

If Dave does ask the questions, I would almost be willing to open a line of betting odds of how many softball questions and non follow ups Claire gets vs how many Tough questions and hounding follow up questions Jim gets.

If the posts on this blog are any hint, Jim is going to be in for a long night while it will be clear sailing for Claire.

For our democracy's sake, I hope that both sides get asked hard questions and follow ups.

With the exception of a couple of bad John Shields questions I believe the 2004 gubernatorial debate which KY3 held was a success. Here is hoping that the 2006 is a success as well.

Dave, for once, prove me wrong. Please.

Takes two wings to fly straight said...

Hooray for both candidates and for the Springfield Media. Every candidate for major office should participate in a debate and the media should make time available to put them on the air. Voters deserve no less. The media can live without the revenue for the time used for these events given then extra ads they get in election years from political ads.
If a candidate refuses to appear then the candidate willing to appear should be allowed to debate an empty chair on televeision for an hour. Once a station did that future candidates would be far more willing to debate.

St. Louis Oracle said...

Is KY3 inviting all four candidates on the ballot, or just the two corporate-backed candidates?

bobicus tomatocus said...

Nice point oracle. I think it would be great to see the other two candidates as well.

The Libertarian Guy (tm) said...

Was the Libertarian candidate even invited to this debate?

javajennifer said...

Is there any way that the public can have input on the questions? Will there be an audience? It would be nice if there was a way for the Springfield area residents to submit potential questions for the candidates to answer. That way the debate would truly reflect the concerns of this area and it would also increase the public's interest in this important event.

KY3 News said...

JavaJennifer -- no there will be no studio audience. But yes we will be soliciting questions from viewers and use those submissions to help shape which questions we ask.

As for the other two candidates,we use the same standard many media outlets do: how well is the candidate polling? Are they a viable choice for voters? We will make mention of those candidates during the program as we did in the 2004 gubernatorial debate.

The Libertarian Guy (tm) said...

The "viability" arugment, IMO, is just a way to ignore third-party candidates. Not the unhinged ones like the would-be Congressional candidate, the white supremacist whose name is not worthy to type, but the real ones. I mean, the ones who don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars and the backing of a major-league party that can buy ads and mass mailings all day long. The ones who can't go door-to-door every day, because they have ordinary-people jobs and lives.

It's a Catch-22: You get the exposure in a debate, but you can't get into the debate without the exposure. (In the Presidential races, it's because the two major parties keep the third-party challengers out - they learned their lesson with Perot, and set the bar so high nobody can get in).

I've seen three- and four-way debates on C-SPAN. It's doable. And the public deserves to hear more than just the "we're from the government, and we'll cure all your ills" nonsense from the Big Two candidates.

Matt Norris said...

I wonder if the two parties made a requirement that the questions be known ahead of time? This is fairly common practice in political debates where candidates are incapable of giving real answers to hard questions, so there's a silent agreement between the two parties that they both will demand the list of questions ahead of time.

And yes, they also manage to rig most debates so that nobody but the democrat or republican candidate gets air time. What a joke.

KY3 News said...

Matt -- for the record in the six years KY3 has participated in debates, none of the candidates knew the questions or issues ahead of time nor were the parties participants in the forming of those questions.

Our panel collaborates on what questions they'll ask and who should ask them. We also rely heavily on feedback from our respective audiences to shape the debate. We know time is limited. We also know what answers the candidate has rehearsed.

Going into this particular debate, we're glad Tim Russert gets the first crack at them. They can get their canned responses about ethanol and the war out of the way. Not that those issues won't be part of our debate -- we simply don't want to hear what we've been hearing all year long.

Already we've identified some issues that are of incredible importance to our country that none of the candidates are talking about. We look forward to hearing from the public about what it wants to know from these candidates.

bobicus tomatocus said...

We also know what answers the candidate has rehearsed.

You do? This is news.

Already we've identified some issues that are of incredible importance to our country that none of the candidates are talking about.

You HAVE? WOW! I will withhold my commenting on what you three have in mind, but I feel like quoting Admiral Akbar from Star Wars fame in saying "Its a trap!" At least for Talent.

I am sorry, but with a preview like that, I just do not feel like the debate is going to be fair and balanced in its questioning. Maybe I will be suprised.

John said...

Any debate that does not include all candidates is inherently illegitimate.

KY3, by excluding the "poorly polling" candidates, is perpetuating the cycle that causes third parties to perform poorly.

In any event, KY3 does not know the future. The Republican takeover of Congress in 1994 was not predicted by the polls. The station, by creating an atmosphere that we are limited to only two choices, is not acting in the public interest.

maximus bevo said...

Many times when questions are "stacked" against one candidate it actually benefits that paticular candidate.

For example on a follow up question one cadidate may get while the other candidate does not may give that candidate the opportunity to go deeper into the issue and look more credible on the issue.

So, sometimes when a debate is not necessarrily perceived as fair for one candidate may actually be to his or her advantage.

If i were a member of that media panel asking questions I would be 100% impartial with my question, so as to make sure that neither side gets a unfair advantage.

Matt Norris said...

If the candidate is worth their salt, they can effectively cream blatantly loaded questions intended to smear said candidate. Keeping the questions and topics secret until the debate actually happens allows the viewer to see just how much the candidate is "with the program".

If they ask something stupid of Talent like "do you think we need to give more money to the poor?" (since Republicans aren't noted for supporting tax-payer funded handouts to the "poor", this would obviously be considered a question that would be directed at a perceived "weakness" of Talent, just based on his political aligntment), I would hope he can, prior to answering, point out that the question is so ridiculously general that nobody in their right mind could expect to give a complete answer in the time he will be given. Define "poor", do we count "poor" drug abusers? What about "poor" people who, despite their financial situation, have 4 kids?

Quite obviously, it's reasonable to give state assistance to people who simply can't make money due to some sort of disability, but asking a vague question like the one in the example above should allow for a candidate to easily lambast a stupid question and at least point out why it's stupid and how it could be less stupid.