Mike Myer to moderate a Democratic debate? What was Wheeling Jesuit thinking?
Mike Myer tells us in his Saturday column that Wheeling Jesuit University is interested in holding a debate for Democratic gubernatorial candidates and he has been asked to moderate it. Mike Myer as the questioner at a Democratic debate? Are you kidding me?
When has Myer ever been fair to Democrats? The only Democrats that Myer has ever said anything favorable about come from that very short list of those who agree with his extremely conservative, Republican point-of-view. Off the top of my head, Joe Manchin comes to mind. After that, I'd need to do some serious research. For example, contrast what he has written about Manchin with his comments about Democratic moderate Jay Rockefeller who effectively served the state from 1977 until earlier this year in a variety of capacities. While I obviously did not check everything Myer wrote about Rockefeller, I could not find anything positive -- especially last year. And Myer is going to be fair to Democrats? Would national Republicans allow a debate to be moderated by Rachael Maddow? I don't think so. Who at Wheeling Jesuit University thought this was a good idea?
I think debate moderators ought to be neutral observers and if they come from journalism, they should be reporters rather than opinion writers. They also ought not to be obviously partisan as Myer clearly is and, for example, Fox News was in the first Republican debate. If there is a local debate, get ready for questions that reflect Myer's columns (including some with false premises built into them):
How would you deal with the radical environmentalists who clearly influence the state and national Democratic Party?
What would you do to insure that abortion would be extremely limited in West Virginia?
How can West Virginia move forward when labor unions and tort law inhibit job growth?
Myer questions whether Justice will participate
Myer goes on to discuss the possibility that candidate Jim Justice won't participate in the debate:
Justice doesn't seem to be interested. And why should he? Why take the chance of a costly misstep in an unchoreographed debate when he can afford all the professionally prepared advertising he desires?
Here's a thought -- maybe Justice, or one of his aides, reads the Wheeling "newspapers" and knows that the campaign against him has already begun and now their editor is going to moderate the debate. From an Intelligencer editorial in 2014:
But the elephant in the room is money, of course. Already there have been accusations Justice intends to use his fortune to "buy" the election.
Accusations by whom? The Intelligencer? The column never says. (Note -- this post is about Myer's chutzpah and hypocrisy. At present, I do not have any strong feeling about Justice's candidacy.)
Can Myer be any more hypocritical?
In light of Shelley Moore Capito's dodging the second senatorial debate last October and the locals' response, can Myer be any more hypocritical when he takes Justice to task for not wanting to participate?
If you remember the senatorial debates a year ago, Shelley Moore Capito refused to participate in the second debate saying that she had a previous engagement. This was after she made an embarrassing statement after the first debate in which she confused climate with weather. From The Hill:
The Republican Senate candidate in West Virginia says she misspoke during a Tuesday night debate when she said she didn’t believe in climate change, and is pointing to the rain as evidence that conditions are shifting "all the time."
"Is the climate changing? Yes, it’s changing, it changes all the time, we heard it raining out there," Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) told reporters. "I’m sure humans are contributing to it."
Capito, who could become the first Republican senator elected from West Virginia in decades, initially said in a Tuesday night debate that she did not believe in man-made climate change.
But speaking with reporters afterward, she said she misspoke, and referred to the weather in Charleston, W.Va., to demonstrate her point, according to The Charleston Gazette.
It is unclear whether Capito meant that human activity causes weather events such as rain.
Why didn't Capito participate in the second debate?
She said that she had previous plans even though it would appear that, with a big lead, that she didn't want to make "a costly misstep in an unchoreographed debate when she can afford all the professionally prepared advertising she desires? "
Did Wheeling "newspapers" criticize her for either her mistake or her failure to participate in the second debate?
No, they said nothing.
Did either of the Wheeling "newspapers" report on what happened in the second debate?
No, they completely ignored the debate. (Hey, Shelley wasn't there!)