Presidential Debates: Colorblind or Blind to Color?

Voters shouldn't have to accept the idea that there's no person of color qualified to moderate, Tavis Smiley writes at the Huffington Post.

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Voters shouldn't have to accept the idea that there's no person of color qualified to moderate, Tavis Smiley writes at the Huffington Post.

It is apparently easier for a person of color to be President of the United States of America than it is for a journalist of color to be selected to moderate a presidential debate.

The four journalists who have been selected to navigate the upcoming debates are more than capable. My issue is not with them, per se, rather with a selection process that at best, periodically trades and swaps a journalist of color for a woman -- or at worst, ignores journalists of color all together.  To be clear, this is not about my personal interest in wanting to moderate a presidential debate. One, I already have (The All-American Presidential Forums on PBS); and two, my critical commentary about the mediocrity of both campaigns clearly disqualifies me from being on stage.

The Obama and Romney campaigns could have and should have INSISTED on at least one journalist of color to moderate one of these debates. In truth, the campaigns really call the shots on these decisions, not the presidential debate commission.  So we are left to assume that neither side put up a fight demanding that a journalist of color be chosen. Of course, I’d love for either campaign to prove me wrong about this assumption. I just don’t think they can.

Read Tavis Smiley's entire piece at the Huffington Post.

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