Monday Morning Politics: Ben Smith

Monday, August 19, 2013

President Obama with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. President Obama with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Getty)

The RNC is shutting out CNN and NBC from the 2016 Republican debates over the network's plans to air programming focused on likely candidate Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, in New York, the mayor's race rolls along, with a major debate (co-sponsored by WNYC) scheduled for this Wednesday. Ben Smith, Editor-in-Chief of Buzzfeed, discusses the latest news.

Comments [16]

Regarding the primary debates, the real question is why we allow access to them to be restricted to /any/ commercial, proprietary network. Essential to the democratic process (what exists of it), all such debates must be /freely/ accessible to /all/ citizens.

Regarding the mayoral race, the nine candidates that had previously been pictured on this page [1] are not the only ones running. Regardless of who ultimately wins the respective primaries, voters will still have other choices. In addition to whatever third-party candidates will be on the ballot, one always has the option of /writing-in/ whomever one wishes.[2]

Many people who have become disgusted, whether merely with the candidates in a given election or, more generally and fundamentally, with our electoral system and/or political process itself, choose to simply not vote. But not voting at all is at least as likely to be interpreted as a sign of apathy, indifference or laziness than one of principled protest.

When, however, one votes for /third-party/ or /write-in/ candidates, one makes a statement that he (or she) cares enough to vote but rejects the choices being offered-- at least the mainstream ones.

[1] When I first viewed it, just before 6:00 a.m. on the morning of Monday, August 19th.

As of this posting, one can see that version of this page via Google Cache, at the following URL:

[2] While often done for a candidate who is running but not on the ballot, a write-in can be for /anyone/, even if deceased. My write-ins have included William Jennings Bryan, Dorothea Dix, Upton Sinclair, Chuck Hagel, Ralph Nader, Andrew Bacevich and Bernie Sanders. These are all names I deliberately chose in order to make specific statements.

Aug. 21 2013 04:51 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Didn't get on the air w/this: I was at a party yesterday where some of the guests were talking about the comptroller race. A couple of people who were knowledgeable about Manhattan politics pointed out that Scott Stringer had instituted a system for hiring people for borough gov't. positions that actually requires candidates to submit CVs & have them vetted rather than be hired based on their political connections--actually having to prove they're qualified, instead of getting patronage, as they said is still the case in the other boroughs. That's a substantive point in Borough President Stringer's favor.

Aug. 19 2013 10:44 AM

@RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

none of those are anything. She has a history of just being there. Awesome job as SOS btw...sheesh

Aug. 19 2013 10:35 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey


"...tell me something she has done to qualify her"

1. Secretary of State
2. Senator from New York.
3. First Lady of the United States - Active in policy and had a great front-seat in how the country is run.
4. First Lady of Arkansa - Also a great front seat to learn how political power is wielded.

Hillary is a lot of things but unqualified is not one of them. Find a different tree to bark up.

Aug. 19 2013 10:28 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

1. The NBC Hillary was telemovie co-produced by Fox.
2. NBC Entertainment *is not* NBC News Division. Unlike, Fox, NBC has always kept the two separate.
3. Is it me, or does Reince Preibus *always* sound like he is half in the bag?

Aug. 19 2013 10:20 AM

another hair dresser shop quality segment...

Aug. 19 2013 10:19 AM

both networks would produce idealized bio pics...we don't need the MSM being blatantly obvious in there support. Hillary Clinton is not qualified to be president...someone tell me something she has done to qualify her.

Aug. 19 2013 10:17 AM
Robert from NYC

Oh goodness, I hope she's not likely to be the next president nor the next next president. I wish the Clintons would go away once and for all.

Aug. 19 2013 10:17 AM
beth from jersey city

Is it just me or is this 'The Newsroom' coming to life or accurately reflecting the times?

Aug. 19 2013 10:17 AM
Robert from NYC

SO WHAT! FOX News should not be allowed to broadcast democratic debates?! Don't you see the "imbalance" here. These folks are acting worse than kids. This guy Reince whatever is stupid, he is a stupid man. I have never heard him speak in any way intelligent! So what if MSNBC and CNN are showing Hilary pieces? I just don't believe what the repubs do and how you the press handle them as if they are acting intelligently and in an adult manner. They are not! You grant them the same respect you give to anyone intelligent and they're not!

Aug. 19 2013 10:15 AM
RJ from prospect hts

Times editorial re: comptroller race: It actually was quite extensive on why Stringer was a good candidate; it wasn't a Spitzer-bashing party. It would be nice to reference that as well.

Aug. 19 2013 10:15 AM
Nat from NY

Y'know what? Congress voted in Obamacare. It's a law Congress approved. Done. Let it go, GOP [Greedy Old Patriarchs]!

Aug. 19 2013 10:15 AM

Daily News has always used 'controller' instead of 'comptroller.'

Aug. 19 2013 10:10 AM
Joe from nearby

Anyone who gets endorsed by the Post & Daily News is the last person I'd vote for.

An enemy of Wall St is a friend of mine.
Spitzer, hands down.

Aug. 19 2013 10:08 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

BRAVO, RNC !!! Don't let the network whining sway you.

Why allow the leftist media to smear the Republican candidates early again?
Why allow the networks to soften them up while puffing up the BUTCHER OF BENGHAZI Hillary Clinton?

LOL, Brian, why does this "dustup" matter so much to you guys on the Far Left? As Hillary says - "What difference does it make?"

Aug. 19 2013 06:12 AM

"The RNC has voted to ban two networks from the 2016 primary debates." ( )

The real question is why /any/ commercial, proprietary network should be allowed exclusive rights to these debates, so critical to the democratic process (what exists of it).

Shouldn't we demand that /all/ of the debates are /freely/ accessible to all citizens?

Aug. 19 2013 05:57 AM

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