The first presidential debate of the 2012 campaign — among hopefuls seeking the GOP nomination — has been scheduled for sometime this spring at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. It will be co-sponsored by NBC News and Politico, which will provide journalists to act as questioners.
Hugh Hewitt, the right-wing talk radio host, is outraged. (I know, I know, saying a talk radio host is outraged is like saying an NBA player is tall. Bear with me here.)
“Not one of the questioners that could or would be proposed by Politico or NBC would be remotely in touch with the cares, concerns, and passions of the GOP’s primary electorate. The process of choosing a GOP nominee should not be mediated by the left-wing media — again.”
You know, I can see his point, especially in the increasingly closed universe of GOP politics and media. As an alternative, Hewitt proposes a panel of right-wing agenda setters — he specifically suggests Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Michael Medved — to pose the questions.
“Beltway liberals asking MSM questions would indeed be different than opinion journalists of the center-right, and I suspect far less intelligent and challenging as the questions posed by my panel, which would probe things like the constitutionality of the individual mandate while avoiding questions from plants in the audience, Santa Claus, and the endless abortion questions which marked 2008’s “debates” and which the liberal MSM “journalists” manufactures to advance the left’s agenda on a four-year interval.”
Again, I think that’s a great idea. Add Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin to Limbaugh and Hannity, and pass me some popcorn! As Alex Massie of the Spectator put it:
“Who doesn’t look forward to the spectacle of Mitt Romney sucking up to talk radio hosts while simultaneously trying to appear loftily Presidential and above the fray? It could be delicious. Indeed, this kind of debate might be much more illuminating than most ‘debates’. Which candidate, if any, will dare to suggest, even mildly, that the Great Limbaugh might be mistaken about anything? More probably, which candidate would most thoroughly abase themselves before their inquisitors?
…. I’d also like to see a Democratic equivalent. Perhaps with a panel of moderators including Keith Olbermann, Katrina Vanden Heuvel and Michael Moore. And then they could swap debates: Republicans grilled by lefties; Democrats by the talk radio boys.
Somebody needs to arrange this! Fox News, I’m looking at YOU!!!