Las Vegas, Nevada played host to the first Democratic Party primary debate of the 2016 Presidential election in which five candidates, unlike the seventeen Republicans, debated the key political issues. The lack of ad hominem attacks was both surprising and refreshing which was unfortunate as I actually had to concentrate on what they were saying rather than wait for the candidates to reveal their fascistic tendencies as I had during the GOP debates.
The debate was organised by CNN and Facebook and, other than technical problems that plagued Don Lemon’s first appearance, went rather successfully. Although the debate was the first of many, and the ins and outs will be forgotten by election day 2016, there was recognisable winners and losers Have a look at the links below to read my analyses of each candidate:
The debate itself made interesting viewing as it reviewed the ideological position of the network. The questions to Hillary Clinton, in my view, were much easier than the other candidates and the questions were designed in order to create a television spectacle rather than an exercise in democracy. For example Dana Bash, one of the supplementary questioners, asked Lincoln Chafee why Clinton’s apology on the Iraq War wasn’t enough for the other candidates, however later in the debate Anderson Cooper asked a question to Jim Webb about Bernie Sanders’ refusal to be drafted for Vietnam, as if this disqualified Sanders from leadership.
As a result of CNN’s position as part of the Establishment it is unsurprising that they were not as harsh on Clinton as on the other candidates but the many other commentators have pointed out the media have almost rewritten who was successful on the night. All of the media’s, admittedly unscientific, snap polls all showed that Sanders had won the debate however the media’s headlines on all of these websites said that Clinton had won emphatically. I’m not quite of the belief that there was a grand conspiracy to promote Clinton irrespective of her performance but it does look suspicious that the candidate who most people viewed as the winner and who is most critical of the mainstream media was ignored in favour of the most pro-Establishment Democratic candidate of recent history.