Commission Announces Format Changes Coming After First Debate Fiasco


The Commission on Presidential Debates has announced changes are on the way to its format for the next two debates following Tuesday night’s raucous matchup between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

The commission issued a statement on Wednesday noting that a number of debate format changes would soon be unveiled.

“The Commission on Presidential Debates sponsors televised debates for the benefit of the American electorate. Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues,” the commission stated.

The commission added, “The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly.”

It is unclear what those changes might be, or exactly when they will be announced.

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The CPD also went out of its way to thank Fox News host Chris Wallace, who moderated the Cleveland debate Tuesday, for the way he conducted the debate.

“The Commission is grateful to Chris Wallace for the professionalism and skill he brought to last night’s debate and intends to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates,” the CPD wrote.

Wallace of course is being criticized by people on both sides of the aisle for the way he moderated the debate.

Wallace had vowed before Monday that he intended to be “invisible” as he fostered an environment for the candidates to talk out the issues.

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“I’m trying to get them to engage…to focus on the key issues…to give people at home a sense of why they want to vote for one versus the other,” he told Fox News.

“If I’ve done my job right, at the end of the night, people will say, ‘That was a great debate, who was the moderator?’”

The opposite occurred for the “Fox News Sunday” host.

Wallace found himself trending number one on Twitter following the event.

While Trump interrupted Biden frequently, it was a two-way street, as the Democrat directly challenged the president a number of times, while also interrupting him dozens of others.

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Many viewers felt that Biden was given preferential treatment by the Fox News host.

Many of Wallace’s own colleagues at Fox News were moved to share their displeasure with him online.

Other viewers chided the debate for being generally unruly.

Ratings for the debate also indicated a lack of enthusiasm for the debate when compared to the first presidential debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Deadline reported Tuesday’s debate only attracted roughly 27.3 million viewers for ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox News. However, CNN reported that when cable channels and other viewing methods were factored in, the audience totaled more than 65 million viewers.

By contrast, the first debate in 2016 drew in 84 million people.

The next presidential debate is scheduled for Oct. 15 in Miami, Florida.

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Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.