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A word of caution about tonight’s town hall debate

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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 7, 2008 11:00 AM

Here we go again. Tonight’s second presidential debate will be moderated by another left-leaning journalist, Tom Brokaw. More significantly, the format will be a town hall. Brokaw will pick the questions from a pre-selected pool. “Tuesday’s match-up at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., will be moderated by NBC’s Tom Brokaw, with the questions to be culled from a group of 100 to 150 uncommitted likely voters in the audience and another one-third to come via the Internet. The Gallup Organization — as in past debates like this — has the job of making sure the questioners reflect the demographic makeup of the nation. Brokaw selects the questions to ask from written queries submitted prior to the debate, according to the ‘contract.'”

Anyone remember the last time a liberal media outlet invited “undecided” citizen questioners to participate in a presidential campaign debate?

Hint: CNN/YouTube/plant debacle.

Refresher:

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Concerned Young Undecided Person “Journey” = John Edwards supporter “Journey”

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Concerned Undecided Log Cabin Republican supporter David Cercone = Obama supporter David Cercone

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Concerned Undecided Mom LeeAnn Anderson = Activist for the John Edwards-endorsing United Steelworkers union LeeAnn Anderson

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Concerned Undecided Gay Military Retiree Brig. Gen. Keith H. Kerr = Hillary/Kerry supporter and anti-“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” activist Keith H. Kerr

Brokaw and his minions better be making damned sure there isn’t a single plant among its “undecided” questioner pool.

On a related note: It would be wise to dramatically lower your expectations of this debate. The town hall format lends itself to the worst pander-style, personal sob story politicking.

Reader David sends a good prediction:

My prediction is that the most prominent topic covered tonight, of course, will be the one nobody has been talking about – except Obama in the last week – which is healthcare.

Yep, it’s going to be a bunch of “real people” whose moms are sick and can’t get health care, yada-yada-yada, “What are you going to do for me?”-type questions.

One caller this morning did offer Bill Bennett a chance for McCain to attack Obama on health care, because his “universal coverage” plan includes insuring illegal immigrants and Gitmo detainees. But you and I both know, McCain will not go there.

Exactly.

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Related: Beware of Ponytail Guy — how townhall debates can go very wrong.

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Categories: Barack Obama, Media Bias