Unethical Quote of the Month: Peter Eyre, Presidential Debate Commission Adviser

“We selected Martha Raddatz because she is a terrific journalist and will be a terrific moderator and we’re thrilled to have her. The notion that that somehow affects her ability is not something we have given a moment’s thought to.”

Peter Eyre, advisor to the Presidential Debate Commission, in a statement to USA TODAY. He was referring to the revealed conflict of interest that calls into question the appropriateness of ABC News reporter Martha Raddatz being chosen as moderator for tonight’s Vice-Presidential Candidates Debate despite the President having attended her wedding and the fact that her former husband was an OBAMA donor and is a high-ranking member of the administration himself.

Let me make this as unequivocal as possible: Eyre’s statement is ignorant, arrogant, incompetent, and disgusting. And, of course, unethical.

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Debate Moderator Ethics: Martha Raddatz, Conflicts of Interest, and the Appearance of Impropriety

In any election, especially a closely contested one, the role of debate moderator must be filled by a professional with absolutely no personal or professional ties to either candidate or his running mate, so as to avoid even the appearance of impropriety, bias, or conflict of interest.

ABC just made my head explode. How’s yours?

Is this basic and obvious ethics principle really so elusive that ABC never considered it?

We learned today that ABC’s Martha Raddatz, a senior foreign correspondent and the assigned moderator for this week’s Vice Presidential debate, was once married to a high-ranking member of the Obama administration, FCC head Julius Genachowski, and President Obama was a guest at their wedding.

DING!

Foul!

Gone!

Uh-uh!

Disqualified!

Under no circumstances, in this hyper-partisan environment when “that handkerchief was a cheat sheet!” conspiracy theories follow a transparent debate thrashing, and a professional moderator who does his job, like Jim Lehrer, is used as a scapegoat to excuse a supposed master of communication who forgot to make eye contact while speaking, should a debate moderator be tolerated who has these kinds of connections to either Presidential ticket. Isn’t that obvious? If it wasn’t obvious to Raddatz and ABC, why not? What’s the matter with them? Continue reading