Let's Organize an Independently-Run 2020 Democratic Presidential Debate with Jon Stewart

Let's Organize an Independently-Run 2020 Democratic Presidential Debate with Jon Stewart

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Ben W, started this petition to Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke and

What We Need

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, we can all agree that having an informed public produces the best outcomes for our Democracy. We must ensure the candidate we nominate in 2020 is the one best suited to not only win the general election, but to tackle urgent and difficult problems like climate change, healthcare, and guaranteeing Americans the full continuum of human rights.

Why We Need An Independent Debate

The sad truth is as much as all the mainstream media we rely on for our daily news may want to be or claim to be impartial, their for-profit nature makes that impossible. The very act of having a profit-driven agenda means your news coverage is based not on the merit of the story, but what will garner the most attention to drive up your revenue from advertising. This includes the choice of how to cover presidential candidates. And the problems only snowball from there.

How We Do It

We demand the DNC sanction an independently operated and moderated debate hosted on independent networks. By introducing each candidate to the public in a forum unburdened by network biases and agendas, free of leading questions and coordinated attacks. We do it with an honest, independent debate focused on the issues that most concern everyday working Americans.

The Debate Format

The specifics of the debate format are still to be determined, but here's the cliffnotes:

We won't be cutting candidate responses off at 15 seconds. The American public deserves a substantive debate on the issues, not a bunch of soundbites. Each debate topic's discussion will proceed for as long as it takes for each candidate to adequately explain their positions. This discussion will not be artificially capped to meet the official broadcast end time. If the debate ends up taking 6 hours, so be it. We need to know our next president can go the distance and that their positions stand up to scrutiny.

Where We Host It

Our debate won't be hosted by CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, or any other mainstream media channel. There will be no pharmaceutical commercials aired during our broadcast. Instead, the debate would be hosted on a wide array of independent streaming channels, such as (but not limited to):

  • Rebel HQ
  • Status Coup
  • The Jimmy Dore Show
  • The Humanist Report
  • Secular Talk
  • Rational National
  • Free Speech TV
  • The Real News
  • The Ring of Fire
  • Joe Rogan Experience
  • Crooked Media
  • Means TV
  • Caitlin Johnstone
  • Democracy Now
  • Majority Report
  • Young Turks
  • Vice
  • Krystal Ball (Rising - The Hill)
  • Michael Tracey
  • Redacted Tonight
  • Newsy
  • C-Span
  • PBS
  • Your Suggestion Here!

Who Will Moderate It

The dream would be for Jon Stewart to moderate. Jon Stewart, former host of the Daily Show, is not only one of the most politically savvy minds of our lifetime, but also one of the most compassionate. His recent victory for the 9/11 first responders demonstrates his political savvy, his sense of duty, and his immense capacity for empathy. Will he actually agree to moderate? Maybe. Maybe not. He's a busy guy, but he's also acutely aware of what happened the last time people decided not to get out and vote.

Another fantastic choice would be Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. She is a fierce, intelligent, unapologetic young woman, deeply in-tune with the everyday struggles of working people, and the iconic face of the future of the democratic party. Her questions to Michael Cohen during his testimony in the House Oversight Committee demonstrated that she isn't interested in making a spectacle of herself. They were precise, to-the-point, and focused on getting exactly the answers the public needed to hear.

The Bottom Line

The truth is that who moderates an independent debate isn't nearly as important as making sure it happens. So please sign today, and tell your friends.

Let's show the Democratic National Committee, the Commission on Presidential Debates, the candidates, and our entire nation that we the people demand a fair and independent democratic presidential debate.

Tweet about us with hashtag #IndieDemDebate!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!