Voters should get chance to tune-in

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 5, 2000

Labor Day is passed and the political season is upon us. Campaigning — on a national level — begins in full and voters in the Miss-Lou need to tune in, not tune out.

That is, if the networks and the candidates will let us.

On Tuesday, presidential candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore continued their public squabble over when — and where — they will debate the issues this fall. And the national television networks joined in the fray.

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Bush, the GOP nominee, has proposed three debates with his Democratic opponent: one 90-minute debate approved by the Commission on Presidential Debates and two face-to-face debates moderated on popular political analysis shows, &uot;Meet the Press&uot; on NBC and &uot;Larry King Live&uot; on CNN.

Gore continues to refuse the proposal, saying instead he prefers three 90-minute, bipartisan debates as proposed by the commission.

And, to complicate matters, the rival television networks say they won’t air the NBC or CNN &uot;debates.&uot;

We say, &uot;so what?&uot;

Voters — and viewers — should have the opportunity to see candidates debate in a variety of settings. And, we know that millions of Americans tune in each week to listen to the political pundits on these news shows as they analyze, criticize and humanize the candidates. Isn’t it time to see them really talk with the candidates?

And, wouldn’t it be refreshing to have a personality like Larry King moderate a debate between Gore and Bush? King is just brash enough to prod the candidates into, perhaps, a candid and honest answer.

After all, a little honesty and a little glimpse at the &uot;real&uot; candidates would be a refreshing change to most voters. We say let the debates take place … and let the voters tune in.