To riff off of demeter11′s post: Beyond David Gregory’s possible partisan affiliations (and erstwhile rap career with Karl Rove) … why do we need a national journalistic figure to moderate a Massachusetts debate?
Naturally, this is a race with huge national interest. But I’m pretty sure that a decently intelligent local journalist knows more about national issues than the national ones know about local issues. How does national health reform affect Massachusetts health reform? How does national energy policy affect our local energy markets? What about local industries? etc. I’m not at all confident that David Gregory or Tom Brokaw know that much about any of those things.
And let’s face it: The DC political press — writ large — is a joke: marinated in triviality, competing talking points, specious opinion polling, and partisan and special interest spin. I can scarcely imagine a worse crowd to cover an important race. But there we have it. We need folks closer to the ground; closer to the effects of national policy.
So here are the names I’d throw out there — I don’t necessarily agree with their politics, but they could at least be fair-minded and locally-informed. Perhaps they’re already going to be involved under the aegis of the local media consortium, but even so:
- Bob Oakes, WBUR
- RD Sahl (retired, formerly of NECN)
- Emily Rooney, WGBH
- Joan Vennochi, Globe
- Scot Lehigh, Globe
- Michael Jonas, MassINC
- Jon Keller (!!! Although in recent years he has become embittered and cranky, he did a decent job moderating Deval vs. Healey back in 2006)
- Steven Syre, Globe’s biz reporter
- Jim Braude (obvious lib tilt, but always asks tough q’s)
- Martha Bebinger (WBUR, for health care-concentrated debate)
And on and on. I don’t think I’ve got enough women on the list …
Seriously, I would much much rather have these folks grill the candidates than some DC “hotshot”.