Demand for Apology from ABC News for their coverage of Democratic Presidential Debate on 4.9.2008 sign now

We are disappointed at the performance of Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, the moderators of the Democratic Presidential debate on April 16, 2008, and demand an apology for their commitment to rehashing inconsequential issues that have already been covered instead of providing a forum in which the two candidates could debate policy issues relevant to potential voters.

In the first half of the debate, the candidates were not asked a single policy question. Instead, Gibson and Stephanopoulos took the opportunity to grill Senator Obama on topics that have already been covered extensively over the past 5 weeks, notably Rev. Wright, flag pins, and "Bittergate". Stephanopoulos even went so far as to infer that Obama's placement on a philanthropic board with a former 60's radical (who is now a respected University professor) was somehow relevant, when its only relevance exists upon conservative radio talk shows, from which Stephanopoulos got the idea to ask such a question in the first place.

In fact, Senator Obama had to spend so much time on the defense in the first half of the debate due to the outrageous questioning from Gibson and Stephanopoulos, that it cost him the amount of time that he was able to respond to relevant policy questions in the latter part of the debate.

Unfortunately, there were other aspects of the debate that stripped ABC News of its credibility. ABC's choice to consistently point the camera on Clinton supporters, all without focusing on any Obama supporters whatsoever, enhanced the perception that Senator Obama was being "ganged up on". Maybe Gibson and Stephanopoulos briefly got a glimpse of this, but instead of halting the gossip questions, they instead decided to become "equal opportunity bashers" by making Senator Clinton once again apologize for lying about her Bosnia trip.

In summary, Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos did not properly execute the role of "moderators" in this debate; rather, they played the role of gossip magazine reporters that were trying to make themselves look good by rehashing insignificant issues that might get a response good enough to be a clip in the evening news. Due to such irresponsible behavior, we demand an apology for their actions and for wasting the time of the audience, and we reserve the right to pursue further petitions if such an apology is not received.

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Earl GuzmanBy:
Culture and SocietyIn:
Petition target:
ABC News

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