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Vice News Moderators Vow to Hold Candidates to Their Promises

Posted: January 28, 2020 | By: Ben Sinnwell Tagged: Blog

DES MOINES, Iowa – On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I attended one of the nation’s oldest minority group focused forums, the Brown and Black Forum. This year the organization sought outside help to help run the event from Vice News.

The forum began after some jokes about this being a minority forum while Iowa is full of white people. The moderators quickly went after the candidates that were attending, preventing them from providing stump speeches and pointing out flaws that are associated with them. Having attended a forum just the day before, where I was overall disappointed by the moderators’ lack of ability to keep candidates focused on the question, this forum was a much welcome change.

The moderators were typically quick to jump into a candidate’s spiel if they weren’t giving a clear answer or were making a longwinded response. There was a desire to keep the candidates focused that shined through in the final moments of each candidate’s time on stage, the short answer segment.

The short answer gave one minute to each candidate to answer as many questions as possible. There was a mix of entertaining questions and also more serious ones put in to catch the candidates off guard. 

Senator Sanders did not thrive under this segment which was expected by both the crowd and the moderators. Most of the other candidates did fairly well, with Biden and Warren both taking a little bit longer to respond.

My favorite part of this forum was that the moderators took note of answers given, asking for clarity if needed and then said that they would hold them to those answers or promises if the candidate was elected. This was something I had not seen many others do when interviewing or moderating events and hope that it is truly followed up on by Vice News.