Cover art for podcast The latest episodes from On the Media

The latest episodes from On the Media

50 EpisodesProduced by WNYC StudiosWebsite

WNYC’s weekly investigation into how the media shapes our worldview. 


Presidential Debates: Yay or Nay?

According to a New York Times-Siena poll released this week 54 percent of republican voters said if the election were held today they would vote for Donald Trump. DeSantis trails by 37 percentage points and the others in the field are in single digits. 

Despite, (or because of?) his solid lead, Trump is wavering on whether he will show his face at the first Republican presidential debate set for August 23rd. As he told Maria Bartiromo on Fox;

“You’re leading people by 50 or 60 points, you say, why would you be doing a debate? It’s actually not fair. Why would you let someone who’s at zero or one or two or three be popping you with questions?”

Trump’s debate snubbing is just the latest example of the GOP resistance to a longstanding political norms. refusal by Republicans to meet political norms.

Last year Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, wrote a letter to the commission on presidential debates, the independent, bipartisan organization that has convened general election debates since the 80s. In her letter, she said that the RNC would boycott the presidential debates during the upcoming election cycle. That is, unless the commission was willing to meet its demands.

Between the RNC’s demands and now the potential absence of the Republican front-runner the question is; what, if anything, would be lost if the presidential debates didn't happen? Brooke spoke to Alex Shephard - senior editor at The New Republic, last year after he wrote an article titled, Let the Presidential Debates Die.

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