The DNC Freaks Out Over a 'Republican' Debate Moderator and I'm Not Sure You Should Care

Secretary of Labor Tom Perez hosts a Paid Leave Roundtable at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey December 11, 2014. Insider Images/Andrew Kelly (UNITED STATES)

You’d be forgiven for not knowing about it, but apparently there’s another DNC debate coming up. I’m sure this one won’t be a rehash of the same topics over and over with certain candidates being purposely sandbagged. I’m an optimist, after all.


Apparently, a heated debate has arisen about who’s going to moderate it though. There’s some sort of joint partnership between PBS and Politico, with Politico providing a portion of the moderators. One of the people they chose is Tim Alberta, currently Politico’s chief political correspondent. The problem? He once worked for National Review and is suspected of having been a Republican (of some form at least). That’s a no-go for the DNC and PBS.

At the behest of its publisher, Robert Allbritton, Politico is pushing for Tim Alberta, the chief political correspondent for Politico Magazine, to join journalists from PBS Newshour at the moderators’ desk. The top PBS journalists under consideration are Judy Woodruff, Yamiche Alcindor and Amna Nawaz.

Politico’s decision to push for Alberta has rankled officials at the DNC, as well as some journalists at PBS and even Politico, the sources said. The reason: Alberta previously wrote for National Review, a conservative magazine, and has spent the bulk of his recent career chronicling the Republican Party.

This has some crying foul about the process.


Isn’t the fallacy there that the DNC cares one iota about being asked challenging questions? Or that the media at large, in this case PBS, cares to support Alberta over the objections of the DNC? Shouldn’t it be pretty well baked in at this point that it’s not 1995 anymore? Hoping for any semblance of fairness or good faith treatment from these people is a fool’s errand. Thinking that logical argumentation has anything to do with it is to be deluded.

Here’s local MSNBC “conservative” Noah Rothman objecting.

Of course, the same standard wouldn’t apply. That’s part of being a Republican. Are these people just now waking up to the reality we live in? Or did they think they would be immune from such treatment if they patted their liberal friends on the head enough times?

From what I can gather from conservative Twitter, I’m supposed to be deeply offended by all this. Just like with Kevin Williamson, who was summarily fired from The Atlantic before ever starting over abortion comments, the right is supposed to rally around these people in the name of fairness and Republican values.

I honestly can’t muster the will to care.

If the shoe were on the other foot, would any of these people come to our defense? Recent events suggest they wouldn’t. Heck, Williamson (who is otherwise a good writer) spent most of the last few years trashing fellow conservatives. Tim Alberta’s latest offering is a book that chronicles the downfall of the GOP from its more prim and proper form into “Trumpism.” If you follow him on Twitter, there’s no doubt he’s in the Never Trump camp. Just recently, Jonah Goldberg and David French (both formerly of National Review) trashed Victor Davis Hansen, one of the more prolific conservative writers out there, because he wasn’t suitably critical of Trump.


It’s not even so much that different factions may disagree within the Republican party that creates issue. We have writers at RedState that will not be voting for Trump in 2020. Rather, it’s the viciousness with which certain elements of the “conservative” movement attack others in their own ranks that creates problems. The camp that Alberta comes from would just as well burn down 90% of the conservative media-sphere on any given day.

All of that’s fine. You do you, as they say. But by the same token, why should the majority of that same media-sphere waste time defending these people when the alligator finally starts to eat them? Because they’ll come for us next? Newsflash, that ship sailed long ago and now many of those who once scoffed at our arguments about media bias in favor of more high-minded analysis suddenly want it acknowledged when it devours them.

The harsh truth is that the mainstream media, especially when they are dealing with an outfit like the DNC, will never be a friendly environment for anyone who can even be suspected of not being a Democrat. That’s the industry these people chose to work in and they’ll have to navigate the results. In the meantime, I’ve only got such much offense to give and this doesn’t meet the threshold.



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