OPINION

Rick Sanchez: 'Debate' is exactly what CNBC failed to provide

Ted Cruz, center, talks about the mainstream media as Carly Fiorina, left, and Chris Christie look on during the CNBC Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Ted Cruz, center, talks about the mainstream media as Carly Fiorina, left, and Chris Christie look on during the CNBC Republican presidential debate at the University of Colorado, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015, in Boulder, Colo. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)  (ap)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Let’s stop making the debates about the moderators and let’s make it about what it should be: the candidates! Having enough moderators to field a basketball team is a wonderful branding tool for CNBC to show off their well-groomed presenters, but presidential debates should not be about anchor branding.

We don’t want to watch debates in order to hear a candidate argue with a moderator. We want to watch debates to hear candidates debate each other. That’s why it’s called a debate.   

- Rick Sanchez

Cable news needs to take its cues from good talk radio. It should sound like a smart conversation/argument among friends, not a series of individual interviews or gotcha questions from moderators trying to score rather than inform.  

Maybe it’s because cable news anchors don’t have the training or experience to handle a free flowing conversation or to simply be there to referee and keep it moving as necessary. Instead, they resort to doing the only thing they know.  

They treat each candidate as if he or she were on the stage by themselves, thereby losing the unique opportunity to allow the candidates to interact among themselves.  

It’s the wrong strategy for the format and another lost opportunity for Americans to really get a full discussion of the issues. We don’t want to watch debates in order to hear a candidate argue with a moderator. We want to watch debates to hear candidates debate each other. That’s why it’s called a debate.   

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Again, the key word here is “debate” and it’s exactly what CNBC failed to provide. It was for all of us and for our democracy—another lost opportunity.  

Rick Sanchez is a contributor for Fox News Latino.

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