No Diversity: Joint Center Asks Debate Commission to Add Univision Debate

No Diversity: Joint Center Asks Debate Commission to Add Univision Debate


The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies and the National Association of Black Journalists are expressing their disappointment with the Commission on Presidential Debates regarding the lack of diversity of this year’s debate moderators.

No Black or Latino journalists were selected this year to moderate a presidential or vice presidential debate.

In a letter to the debate commission by Joint Center President Ralph Everett, the Center is calling for more debates to be added to the 4 already scheduled. The Joint Center is also requesting that the Commission on Presidential Debates analyze the way they select moderators.

“We ask that the Commission take measures to remedy this oversight by adding more debates to the calendar. As such, we ask it to reconsider its decision to deny Univision’s request forum to be hosted by two of the nation’s most respected journalists — Jorge and Maria Elena.  We further ask the Commission to pursue similar initiatives with other media outlets large audiences of African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, and other people of color,” the Joint Center’s letter stated.

Though Everett applauded the selection of CNN’s Candy Crowley and ABC’s Martha Raddatz as the first female debate moderators in 20 years, he also reminded the Commission of a current political climate that includes issues disproportionately effecting Blacks and Latinos.

The National Association of Black Journalists also reacted with disappointment to the debate commission’s choices.

In a statement today, the NABJ said, “The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is disappointed the journalists chosen to participate in the presidential debatesdoesn’t reflect what has become the most diverse electorate in U.S. history. While we commend the selection of the first woman moderator in 20 years, we find it unacceptable that no journalists of color will be involved.”

“By excluding journalists of color, the commission failed to satisfy an important public interest given that racial and ethnic minorities will contribute roughly one quarter of the votes cast on Election Day. Any credible analysis has shown that their turnout, or lack thereof, will be a decisive factor in the presidential contest,” the NABJ added.


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LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE, Politic365 Managing Editor, publishes the blog Crewof42 on the Congressional Black Caucus.  She can be heard every Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET on WMCS 1290 in Milwaukee on Earl Ingram’s show The Earl Ingram Show as well as on WPFW 89.3 every Friday at 6:30 p.m. Ms. Burke is a former employee of and ABC News.  You can e-mail her at follow her on twitter @Crewof42.



  1. I think the only minority these days is white conservative christians. However, saying that, I would like to point out again. I don't believe in black americans, chinese americans, hispanic americans, white americans etc. You are either an American or you are not. Our cultures are something to be honored forever with the history and flavor taught to our children in each of our families, but in no way should our backgrounds distictly separate us from each other. All the journalists chosen (regardless of their ethnic background) should be concerned and ask questions regarding the issues facing all Americans. I am sick to death of all you "racists" out there! We need to pull together and do what's best for our nation as a whole, and protect the liberties of each individual, not each race or special interest group!

    • I'm guessing you are white, right? That is why you do not care if hispanics or african- Americans participate. But like you said, we need to pull together as a whole nation, and the whole nation is not just white, so to justly represent the whole nation we need to have the different (as you call it) flavors participate.

  2. Why are "faces of media" getting more and more white? What has happened to diversity and balance in the media? Even on news shows such as "Starting Point" (with Soleday OBrian), with the exception of Martin Roland, all of her guest panelists are white.

    I am am college educator and when I ask my students (white and black), do they realize they are getting only one pespective that happens to be from whites only, they say "it didn't even occur to them".

    This the danger of the "WHITE ONLY" perspective — it does not allow debunking of blatant lies and/or "calling out" what is incorrect and false information, especially in regard to Black and Latino issues.

  3. Everyday we are forced to listen to chilling disrespectful remarks and lies in the media about President Obama and very few (if any) Blacks are present to refute their remarks.

    CNN used to try to be balanced, but they have now become as one-sided as Fox.
    After the Repulican Convention, Piers Morgan should have been fired and gone to Fox News, based on the way he disrespected and tried to negate everything President 0bama hasdone for the past three years!

    We must wake up before it's too late! We have allowed the media and the Republicans to define us and the presidency of President Obama and it must stop NOW!

    Did we come this far as a people only to now get tired and no longer put up the "good fight"?

    We must remember, "he who forgets the past is condemed to repeat it!

  4. The way I see it — the best way to fight this is to get EVERY person of color registered and let's make sure President Obama gets re-elected with a landslide!

    There are many middle-class, rural and poor white people who are not as ignorant as the Republicans seem to think. They KNOW that President Obama cares about the middle-class and the poor. We know that he is a man of integrity and understands our needs and wants.

    Heaven help us all if Mr. Romeny wins — that 1-2% of people who own 46% of American wealth wlll try to get it all !