It’s a simple process, one that every moderator should understand and should have mastered before the upcoming election.
But the process is complex.
A new documentary, Democracy Debate, shows how the process can be confusing, frustrating, and even confusingly convoluted.
“The idea of a moderator is to make sure that you can get to the point without losing your footing,” said Chris Anderson, a co-director of Democracy Debate and co-author of the documentary, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival on Monday.
“It’s not a question of ‘should I tell you what I think or should I just tell you who I think you should be?'”
Democracy Debate is the latest in a series of documentaries that examine the role of media, politics, and democracy in a democratic society.
Anderson is the former chair of the New York State Public Library and the former president of the Public Library Association of New York.
“I think that’s the one thing that everyone agrees on: We need more democracy, more public discussion, more openness,” Anderson said.
“We need a lot more people to talk about it.”
But what about the moderators?
Anderson said that the public needs to understand how the moderators are selected and why some are selected while others are not.
“You can’t just have the idea that you’re going to get a bunch of random people on the internet to make up your minds,” Anderson told The Verge.
“And that’s not the way that we think about this.”
It’s unclear whether Anderson is referring to the fact that the New Yorker, CNN, and other media outlets don’t have a moderator, or to the number of people who say they don’t want to hear from a moderator.
It’s also unclear whether there are moderators who are simply not interested in the content, and Anderson is skeptical of that idea.
“Most of them are really not looking to hear what you have to say.
They’re not looking for that conversation to happen,” Anderson explained.
“But some of them, they want to say something, so they will listen to it.
But they also don’t know what you are saying, or they just don’t care to.”
For example, in one scene in the documentary when Anderson interviews a moderator about his personal life, the moderator is asked, “Do you have a wife?”
The moderator replies, “Yeah, I’ve got one.”
“I don’t think I’m asking that,” the moderator says, adding that he has “two wives,” and that he is “a little bit more of a feminist than I should be.”
He continues, “I’ve got a husband.”
In another, Anderson talks to a moderator who says he’s “in the business of trying to help the most marginalized in the world, and I don’t understand why the more powerful people would not listen to those voices.”
The moderator says he is only interested in helping “the people who don’t believe in their own ideas.”
“When you look at that kind of attitude,” Anderson continued, “the kind of mindset that I’m hearing, you just don.
It just doesn’t make any sense to me.”
The documentary’s most telling scene comes when Anderson speaks with a moderator at the Center for American Progress.
The moderator has been selected for his expertise in political science and policy, and the panelists all agree that he “really knows what he’s talking about.”
But, Anderson said, he is confused as to why the panelist would be selected for a position at a think tank like CAP, given the way CAP’s board has been “frequently seen to take positions that are more right wing than their own.”
“It feels like there’s an implicit agreement between the panel and the board,” Anderson concluded.
“In other words, they’re saying, ‘we’re not picking the right person to lead us, but we’re picking a person to help us understand what’s going on in the American political system.'”
Anderson also believes that the moderators who do appear on television are often under the influence of the media, and that their opinions and positions are being distorted by the media and that this creates a “mood of hostility” among viewers.
But that’s just not the case.
“They’re not doing it for ratings,” Anderson noted.
“What they’re doing is they’re trying to be heard and they’re looking for answers.
They want to understand why we’re doing what we’re seeing.”
“The more the media tells you, the more it makes you want to keep talking,” Anderson added.
“There’s no question that there’s a lot of bias in this media landscape.”
Anderson believes that a lot could be done to curb this bias in the media.
“When the media talks about bias, what they really mean is bias toward the left,” Anderson stated.
“That’s not necessarily the case.”