Networks didn’t really want the Greens in the debate, Evil Consortium boss says

This morning, former Evil Network Consortium boss Tony Burman says that the networks couldn’t agree between themselves that including the Greens in a Leader’s debate would be good television, let alone present a common front to the political parties:

The networks privately debated the issue. We never actually reached an agreement that day, although all of the networks were sympathetic to the ‘public service’ dimension of the Greens’ case. Some networks worried that adding a fifth leader would make the debate “unwatchable” but we all knew that the elephant in the room was actually living at 24 Sussex Drive.

Five leaders would be un-wat-cha-ble, they said. Lukewarm political oatmeal, I said – close enough.

Well, that should settle this argument about what the networks really wanted (continued here) and how things are decided. It should also start another round of discussion on the priorities, ethics and intestinal fortitude of network executives. And how things should be decided. I don’t trust the civic values of network execs, but at least they know how to put together a good TV show better than whoever happens to live at 24 Sussex.

By the way, I had missed the Globe text this morning. My thanks to Paul Adams. I knew I had to put the Carleton U election blog in my newsreader.

SAME-DAY UPDATE: Okay, so May is in now. The other parties decided that they would rather suffer Elizabeth May for two evenings than talk about her for the next three weeks. I’m curious to see what kind of three-ring circus the networks will come up with to accomodate 5 leaders and two journalists. The Carleton U election blog is the best place to follow the discussion on this new development.

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