GOP Primary Debates: The Coming Paradigm Shift?

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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For a long time now, I’ve been bemoaning the ridiculousness of empowering media outlets — which, in many cases, are openly hostile to conservative principles — to moderate the Republican primary debates.

Once upon a time, of course, the mainstream media controlled the means of production.  There was no other game in town, so Republicans had few alternatives.  As old media structures began crumbling, cable TV and the internet filled the gap, paving the way for more philosophically diverse media outlets.  Nevertheless, Republicans generally chose to preserve the old media establishment paradigm, thus granting them additional credibility.

Those days may finally be over, which means, we may never have to hear a moderator ask: “Raise your hand if you want to see President Obama’s birth certificate.”

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza reported that the RNC, “has convened a task force to study the possibility of sanctioning a handful of debates during the 2012 presidential primary season…”

I’ve always advocated that the candidates, themselves, set the debate terms (rather than having the RNC impose top-down “rules”.)  Limiting the number of debates in a heavy-handed fashion would be a mistake, of course.  But if this task force should recommend promoting the involvement of more conservative and/or new media outlets into the primary debate mix — well that would seem like a “no-brainer” to me…

Matt K. Lewis