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Presidential debate moderators under fire for lack of ethnic diversity

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The lineup of moderators for this fall’s presidential debates notably excludes any representatives of racial minorities, and that omission is now being called into question.

The National Association of Black Journalists complained on Friday that the Commission was “treating black reporters as if they were unqualified, invisible or both.”

A few days earlier, the president of the Spanish language network Univision had noted the lack of Latino representatives and suggested that his network might sponsor a separate forum hosted by two Univision personalities.

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The designated moderators for the three presidential debates are Candy Crowley of CNN, Jim Lehrer of PBS, and Bob Schieffer of CBS. Martha Raddatz of ABC will moderate the vice presidential debate.

All four journalists are white, work for major television networks, and are between 59 and 78 years of age.

The commission has responded to criticism by saying that it is impossible to accommodate everyone but that the journalists see themselves as representing all Americans.

Meanwhile, ultra-conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has accused the moderators of being “far, far left-wing liberal Democrats.”

MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell believes that Limbaugh may be using a time-honored conservative trick of “intimidating” the moderators into attempting to prove their impartiality by going easy on Mitt Romney and harder on President Obama.

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Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr


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2012

Mike Pompeo wants to classify international human rights groups as ‘anti-Semitic’: report

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On Wednesday, Politico and The Washington Post reported that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is proposing several major international human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and Oxfam, be classified as "anti-Semitic" groups — and that a formal declaration could come later this week at the earliest, with the intention of preventing other governments around the world from working with them.

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2012

A harsh lesson for Trump: He can’t beat the virus — and even his followers know it

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The reviews are in and President Trump's ballyhooed return to the stage this past weekend in Tulsa was a dud. After three months on hiatus, with nothing but the increasingly disastrous coronavirus press briefings to keep him in shape, the president turned in a very shaky performance. Even his greatest hits, like "Lock her up" and "Build that wall," couldn't bring the magic.The campaign and the White House had relentlessly hyped this return, telling the media that they had a million RSVPs for the event and even planned an outdoor overflow venue where the president was slated to make a surprise visit before he entered the main stage. But the huge crowd failed to materialize and the outdoor event was hastily scrapped as it became apparent they wouldn't even come close to filling the indoor arena. Local fire marshals estimated the crowd at a little over 6,000, less than one-third the arena's capacity and 40,000 short of the crowd they anticipated outside.
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2012

Coronavirus is fostering a culture of no touching — a psychologist explains why that’s a problem

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Touch has profound benefits for human beings. But over the last few decades, people have becomeincreasingly cautious about socially touching others for a range of reasons. With the novel coronavirus spreading, this is bound to get worse. People have already started avoiding shaking hands. And the British queen was seen wearing gloves as a precautionnot to contract the virus.The coronavirus could very well have long-term implications for how hands-on we are – reinforcing already existing perceptions that touch should be avoided.Why is touch so important? It helps us share how we feel about othe... (more…)

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