Politico and PBS are set to co-host the final 2019 Democratic debate on December 19 in Los Angeles, California. According to NBC, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), PBS, and even individuals within Politico are at odds over Politico’s moderator choice, Tim Alberta.
Alberta is the chief political correspondent for Politico Magazine. However, Alberta spent the majority of his career following the Republican Party, writing a book detailing the civil war between the GOP and Trump. He previously wrote for the conservative outlet National Review. This is too problematic for the DNC.
According to NBC, DNC officials say Alberta’s past hinders his ability to co-moderate a debate meant to better inform Democratic voters. But Politico sees Alberta as a nonpartisan journalist. They don’t see his coverage of the GOP or publication in National Review as black mark against his credentials.
In May, the DNC barred Fox News from hosting a debate, claiming the news outlet was “not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate.” Yet again, the DNC is showcasing their fear of conservative thought. They want to shut down a moderator who knows a few more things about Republicans than others do. They did it with Fox News, and they’ll do it again with Alberta.
The threshold to appear on the Los Angeles stage is the highest thus far. Candidates need to average 4 percent in at least four DNC-approved polls or receive 6 percent in at least two early-state polls, including Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, or Nevada. Candidates must also garner at least 200,000 unique donors.
The size of the debate stage in mid-December will likely be smaller due to the DNC’s high threshold. This would allow Alberta to ask questions pointed at specific candidates, and for once, a Democratic debate question might actually force Democrats to answer for their terrible policy proposals and hypocritical statements. There is no doubt the DNC will do everything in their power to stop that from happening.