Gary Johnson

Debate Commission Blocks Gary Johnson and Bill Weld

'Americans are tired of rigged systems,' Johnson retorts. 'We plan to be on the debate stage in October.'


It's official, and it stinks: As expected, The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), the "nonpartisan" body co-founded and co-populated by the Republican and Democratic parties to control the terms of presidential-year debates, has announced the participants for the Sept. 26 presidential debate in Hempstead, New York: Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. The Oct. 4 vice presidential debate in Farmville, Virginia will also be limited to Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Tim Kaine. Libertarians Gary Johnson and William Weld, currently polling better than any third-party ticket since Ross Perot and James Stockdale in 1992, did not make the CPD's arbitrarily high threshold of averaging 15 percent across five pre-selected national polls.

Johnson, who is averaging 8.4 percent in those Big Five polls, has issued a statement, which reads in full:

I would say I am surprised that the CPD has chosen to exclude me from the first debate, but I'm not. After all, the Commission is a private organization created 30 years ago by the Republican and Democratic parties for the clear purpose of taking control of the only nationally-televised presidential debates voters will see. At the time of its creation, the leaders of those two parties made no effort to hide the fact that they didn't want any third party intrusions into their shows.

The only time a third candidate has been allowed on the stage was 1992, when both parties wanted him on the stage for their own purposes. It should be noted that, when Perot was allowed on the stage, polls showed his support to be in single digits, below where Johnson and Weld are currently polling.

The CPD may scoff at a ticket that enjoys "only" 9 or 10% in their hand-selected polls, but even 9% represents 13 million voters, more than the total population of Ohio and most other states. Yet, the Republicans and Democrats are choosing to silence the candidate preferred by those millions of Americans.

Americans are tired of rigged systems, and the monopoly on debates created by the CPD is a prime and skillfully executed example.

Bill Weld and I will continue to fight to provide a voice and an alternative for independents, disenfranchised Republicans and Democrats, Millennials and others who aren't satisfied with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as their options.

It is unfortunate that the CPD doesn't believe such a voice should be heard. There are more polls and more debates, and we plan to be on the debate stage in October.

The Johnson campaign, which has made getting into the debates its primary focus, will now have to move on to Plan B, part of which will be reminding the Debate Commission and the political press that the CPD is supposed to behave in a nonpartisan manner in order to retain its tax-exempt status. Indeed the commission's announcement makes sure to underscore related buzzwords: "The nonpartisan, non-profit Commission on Presidential Debates ("CPD") announced today that it has applied its Nonpartisan Candidate Selection Criteria for 2016 General Election Debate participation to determine eligibility to participate in the presidential debate," the press release begins (emphases mine). The poll-averaging will be re-run in advance of the second and third presidential debates.

Stay tuned to this space for more reaction.


Related content from the Reason archive, in reverse chronological order:

* With Mitch Daniels Republicanism on the outs, Mitch Daniels Cozies up to Gary Johnson

* Gary Johnson Now Needs 42% in Final Poll to Qualify for Debates

* Johnson/Weld to Debate Commission: Let Down Your 15% Threshold Just This Once

* Gary Johnson and Bill Weld Shift Focus to Answering Questions Outside of Debates

* Mitt Romney Wants to See Gary Johnson and William Weld on the Debate Stage

* Military Members Are Into Gary Johnson, But NBC Won't Let Him Near Tonight's Forum

* The Worst Two-Party Tweet About Gary Johnson and Jill Stein You'll Read This Month

* Growing Media Chorus Says Presidential Debates Are 'Rigged'

* Presidential Debate Commission Criteria Is Both Good News and Bad News for Gary Johnson

* Johnson/Weld SuperPAC Threatens the Commission on Presidential Debates Over their Tax Exempt Status

* Judge Quashes Gary Johnson/Jill Stein Debate Lawsuit

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  1. Times call for an armed revolution.

    1. You say you want a revolution? Well, you know . . .

      1. “We don’t want to change the world…” /the CPD

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  2. I’m shocked, shocked I say.

  3. Other than perhaps the exposure of being onstage, would Johnson gain much from a debate?

    A veil of humility between two mountains of conceit.

    Is he actually a good debater?

    1. I hear he’s a master debater.

        1. My inner 14 year old is a faster typist than your inner 14 year old.

          1. but the less said of the inside of a 14 year old the better.

            1. Well I can’t argue with that.

            2. . . . it’s too dark to read.

      1. It’s funny because he is actually a bad debater.

        1. Yeah, he pretty much sucks.

          Why can’t we resurrect Friedman and run him? He loved a good debate.

          1. His son is pretty awesome.

            1. He is, but I don’t think America’s ready for an ancap. Heads would explode.

          2. Why not put Stossel up there? He has some name name recognition. Or Veronique de Rugy? Or Thoams Sowell even?

            Fundamental problem of politics: no one articulate, intelligent, principles, or halfway sane human being wants to be president.

        2. As I look at his improvement along the the campaign trail, I think Johnson is beginning to hold his own in live, semi-scripted (but partially impromptu) events such as modern campaign rallies, TV talk shows, and “debates” are today. But Weld appears to be an old, steady hand at this, and it is really too bad that they tie the VP debates to the FIRST round of Presidential debates, rather than the last. The criteria for VP inclusion should be that the running mate of ANYONE who is invited to/appears in ANY of the three Presidential debates should get to participate in the VP show. That’s the only thing that is fair to the candidates and fair to voters, imho.

    2. He’s a master debater, NaL.

      1. Not only is he a master debater, but he also likes to masturbate.

        1. Interesting factoid: the word “masturbate” comes from the Latin “magister,” meaning master, and from the Latin “battere,” which means to fight. So it means to fight the master.

          1. I argued for a half hour with my Latin teacher that fellatio was rooted in fellare to no avail. I guess he wasn’t going to let himself have to explain that to any parents.

          2. If this is true, why the “u” instead of an “e”? I’ve always wondered about that.

          3. That’s utter bollocks. “Masturbation” comes from putting together the latin words for “hand” and “rape”. It was briefly called “manustupration” but that was too awkward so they shortened it. The original term is “onanism”. But moral scolds wanted a nastier word for it. That’s right, self-love is actualy self-rape.

            1. I don’t consider it either self-love or self-rape, just a bodily function that sometimes needs to be carried out. But thanks for providing the real derivation; the other one wasn’t serious, which is why it was labeled a “factoid”. I guess the old term “self-abuse” was pretty close to being an actual translation of the components of the word “masturbation”, something I never realized before. And “Onanism” was never a sensible term for it either, since the story of Onan in the book of Genesis makes no mention of that act. It does say that he “spilled his seed on the ground”, but that’s because he, er, pulled out while making love to Tamar, his wife and former sister-in-law, because he didn’t want to father a child who would legally be considered that of his late brother (whose name is hidden in this sentence). Yes, the brother’s name was “Er”. The text is quite clear, and how it could ever be misinterpreted as referring to masturbation is a mystery.

              None of this has anything to do with Gary Johnson, but these comment threads do tend to drift. Being about “Johnsons” in general doesn’t really count, and we’ve had enough of those jokes. Did anyone ever make “Johnson” jokes about LBJ? Or Andrew?

    3. Name rocognition and legitimacy.

      Weird as it is I am still running into people who have no idea that there are candidates beyond Hillary and Trump.

      1. Not weird at all. It’s ostriches all the way down.

      2. Weird as it is, people here in Taiwan ask me which of the four candidates I’m voting for.

    4. nope, but he does get some clever quips in, and his honesty would definitely be appealing to the 95% of America who didn’t vote for Hillary and Trump in the primaries.

    5. He may gain more by being slighted. I hear he isn’t a great speaker.

      1. I think he’s getting much better, this week he and Weld did a full hour on Smerconish’s XmRadio show, and then a thing at Purdue that was live streamed, I listened to the former in it’s entirety and half of the later, in both cases he seemed much more relaxed, likable, capable than in his earlier town-hall type things. If he managed to come off that well in a debate I believe he could pick up quite a bit of support.


      1. I dunno, but I heard he was a master debater.

        1. Does he autofillet? That would be bad.

    7. I think even if he isn’t a skilled debater, the debates are not in any way a debate. The best case would be coming across as the sane one while Donald and Hillary throw insults back and fourth like 5th grade recess.
      Worst case might be he’s drowned out by aforementioned recess arguments.

  4. Everyone who cares about fairness should not watch the first debate in protest. You will get sick of hearing returns and analysis of it anyway.

    1. I wasn’t planning on watching it anyway.

    2. I would rather shove a rusty screwdriver through my eye socket that listen to Hillary and Trump shit all over the stage for 2 hours.

      1. No shit! Worse and worser. Why would anyone subject themselves to the sheer dumbfuckery of such a display? Except for all the dumbfucks, that is, who appear to have us greatly outnumbered.

      2. I’d rather watch them actually shit all over the stage than listen to them talk for 2 hours.

    3. Who cares about fairness? The people hosting the debate are a private group and they didn’t exclude anyone. Anyone in the USA is welcome you just have to get high enough numbers. Typical Garry Johnson to demand a private group does what he says they should rather than just going on youtube and responding to the debate in real time.

    4. Who cares about fairness? The people hosting the debate are a private group and they didn’t exclude anyone. Anyone in the USA is welcome you just have to get high enough numbers. Typical Garry Johnson to demand a private group does what he says they should rather than just going on youtube and responding to the debate in real time.

  5. Johnson Cock Blocked By Debate Commission

    1. It took a LOT of self-discipline not to use that headline. And I’m still not sure I made the right decision.

      1. There are going to be a limited number of golden opportunities such as this in your lifetime.

      2. What’s reason gonna do, fire you?

    2. Johnson Cock Blocked By The Master Debate Commission


  7. Unsurprising.

    And I would say that the Johnson-Weld response is kind of dumb (it’s not the CPD’s fault that Johnson’s polls are the same as his late-June polls), but the alternative of going meekly into the night and livestreaming some laid-back counterprogramming would be way worse.

    Basically, when they made it all about the debates they were taking a calculated risk that they would risk looking kind of dumb and foot-stompy if they failed, in exchange for an increase in national coverage vis-?-vis their race to 15. And…here we are.

    I’m not mad at them, they’ve done better than I thought they would, but we’re here, and I don’t see a path out of here that looks good.

    1. (Note: “It’s not the CPD’s fault” is not meant to imply I agree with their threshold, but in terms of public perception Johnson agreed to the rules of the game when he openly lobbied the public to get him to 15% so it’s not a good look to reverse course now.)

  8. Thank God they are officially excluding the adults from the debates. Now the children can scream at each other in peace.

  9. Here’s what the Johnson campaign should do:

    Take a sizeable chunk of their cash on hand and schedule an alternative program on another channel for the entire hour. Johnson sits in a chair onstage with a screen broadcasting the CPD debate. After both candidates have had a chance to respond to the moderator’s question, Johnson hits the pause button, offers his take, and then hits play. He might have to schedule an extra half hour of programming to get in his response to the candidate’s final statements. Use the remainder of that last half hour to make the case that these two nitwits have no solutions to offer and lay out his plan.


    – Expensive as hell to buy that much air during primetime, but possibly could score cheap time since viewership for that other channel would presumably be way down, lowering the price
    – Copyright issues. Perhaps he couldn’t livestream the debate on the other channel due to legal issues.

    It’s somewhat of a Hail Mary, since even discounted non-debate-channel primetime air is going to cost a pile of cash, but it let’s the two children, Trump and Clinton, fight it out in the kiddie sandbox, while Johson just sits on the adult bench scolding the kids.

    1. Intersperse it with stupid stuff like the Puppy Bowl and Doritos ads and you might have something there.

      1. Fuck that. Just have like a hundred puppies playing in the room during the interview. 10/10 would watch.

        1. I certainly would. But imma not gonna watch the debates anyhow.

    2. “Expensive as hell”

      That’s one reason why he got Weld, isn’t it – to get access to certain donors?

      OK, then, if you’re going to sell out you better get something out of it. Tell the donors to pony up.

      1. exactly. weld’s whole schtick was that he liked to fundraise, yet most of Gary’s money has come from online money bombs. I cut Weld a lot of slack because of his promised money-raising prowess. he would never actually be v.p. since the senate picks from the top 2 finishers. but he whiffed on raising the money which would have enabled some ads. what a fucking disappointment

    3. They surely don’t have enough money to buy an hour of national TV time. They apparently didn’t even have enough to run a few minutes of commercials on national TV, which I expected they would have, and would do. They ran some commercials on local stations in a few states; are those the states where they did hit the 15% threshold? Anyway, they probably couldn’t show the CPD debate on their own program, even if they could get one, because of copyright claims.

      1. They have had radio ads, ads in various papers, and a bunch online. I haven’t seen any on tv, but don’t watch.

    4. That’s the only way that I would watch the “debate”.

    5. Counter proposal:

      Have someone (Stossel perhaps) host a 3rd party debate the next night. Include Johnson, Stein, and any other 3rd party candidate with enough ballot access to have a mathematical shot at 270 EC votes (Castle of Constitution Party, I think is the only other one that would qualify). Ask the candidates THE EXACT SAME QUESTIONS, word for word, as the CPD Trumpton “debate”. Hopefully that will get around copyright issues (unless the questions themselves are copyrighted material, in which case change them just enough to avoid lawsuits).

      Then, produce a mashup of sorts showing the CPD debates with the two main candidates answering the questions and bitching back and forth at each other, and then the 3rd party candidates answering the same questions.

      Not sure if that approach would get around copyright issues or not, but at the very least it would be… interesting.

  10. Stay tuned to this space for more reaction.

    I dunno…is it a safe space?

    1. As long as SIV or John aren’t commenting, yes.

  11. What’s stopping them from live-streaming a podcast where they respond to the moderator Q’s and each of the other candidates?

    Given that lots of people find “turning on a TV” to be… well, ‘un-natural’, I’d think they could at least continue to pretend they’re just as relevant as the other 2 clowns, and promote their own events as a side-show.

    1. Nothing, and I would expect them to do something like that.

      HOWEVER. It’s kind of hard. If memory serves, we did something like that with Bob Barr in 2008, and the logistics of that are pretty touchy (if you want to keep it live & on time). Of course, our capabilities are much greater now…

      1. Matt, is there a copyright issue which would prevent Gary from sitting on a stage with the live broadcast of the CPD debate on a TV screen?

        1. Yes, that’s exactly how they would prevent it. However, I say throw caution to the wind and tell them to go to hell in a defiant act of civil disobedience. Stream the fucking thing all across the Internet!

          You’d need a robust CDN, and the election cronies would probably try to stop it with a cease and desist deep pocket lawsuit threat. But if there were a BitTorrent-like CDN that could be set up on a peer-to-peer network, that would be a double-fuck-you to the election cronies.

          I am liking this idea more and more…

          1. I like where you’re going with this.

          2. Hell, yes–make it a fait accompli. It’s better to ask forgiveness than permission. And besides, fuck ’em.

        2. I do not believe so, no. But they probably couldn’t show it on TV. (Facebook Live would be a separate issue.)

          1. However they can do it, I see no downside to this. Let Hillary and Trump slapfight on the main stage, while Gary wryly mocks them in real time.

            And I agree, they need to figure out a way they can afford and which doesn’t come with any copyright downsides. GILMORE’s observation about kids not liking TV is correct, and Gary livestreaming on an alternative platform would further reinforce the perception that he’s eschewing (gesundheit!) old ways of doing business.

            1. I think it should be done especially if there is a copyright issue. That’ll ensure that it gets some copious media attention, and a lawsuit would bring some ugly attention to the whole process. It’s a lose-lose issue for the election thugs and a win-win for Johnson.

            2. Gary Johnson does mystery science theater during the clitrump slugfest. now that’s must see tv

      2. I think he did that in 2012. I was drunk, maybe it was just an ama.

    2. I imagined something similar above. I like this idea too.

  12. It seems the duopolists are doing everything they can to make people like me sympathetic to Gary Johnson. Not an easy task, given the stances he’s taking this year and the company he chooses to keep.

    I really wish he’d drop this whole CPD focused strategy, and I certainly hope he won’t try to use the duopolistic tactic of siccing the IRS on his opponents.

    Sure, the CPD is massively in violation of the (Lyndon) Johnson Amendment, a law sponsored by the same kind of duopolists as the CPD. But the First Amendment guarantees the right to be partisan and hypocritical.

    Either you should get a tax exemption or you shouldn’t. Maybe there shouldn’t be *any* tax exemptions. But taking away a tax exemption as punishment for exercising one’s First Amendment rights – that’s wrong in principle and of course it isn’t applied fairly. If you’re a rich enough organization, you can hire the best lawyers to arrange how to get politically involved without triggering IRS intervention. If you’re a poor organization, you get Lois Lerner.

    1. You asshole. You almost–almost–make me want to vote for Hillary just as a personal fuck you to you.

  13. Such bullshit. Compare this to a country like Japan, where broadcasters are legally mandated to give equal air time to any lunatic who fills out the proper electoral commission forms. Yet, somehow they have avoided falling into becoming an anarchic wasteland where the survivors huddle in the shadows hoping not to attract the attention of the cannibal rape gangs who rove the ruins of what was once neo-Tokyo.

        1. That hair, it’s mesmerizing…

        2. That guy should be wearing a Che t-shirt. He looks like the Asian version of leader of the Bolivarian revolution. It must be the hair.

        3. You, sir, are no John Lennon, or Elvis Presley.

    1. Have you been to Japan lately????

      /I haven’t. I actually just posted this to be a troll. I hear it’s actually a pretty decent place if you like living in closets.

  14. Americans are tired of a rigged system

    Citation needed.

    1. Well, it’s all Trump and Sanders talked about during their respective runs… it got one of them the Republican nomination and got the other tens of millions of dollars to give to his buddies.

  15. The last gasp of the gatekeeper.

  16. Here’s my idea: The 3rd parties should sponsor their own debate and invite the major-party candidates. If the major-party candidates don’t show up, then have celebrity stand-ins (I already know who I want representing Hillary).

    1. Natalie Portman’s hard nipples?

      1. The debate needs viewers, Hillary needs straight men to vote for her…win/win.

        1. Hillary needs straight men to vote for her stop her from falling.


  17. Guess I won’t be watching.

    1. Done. FWIW

  18. “Hempstead”

    Can this town be charged with a crime? They could just confiscate the entire town, right?

  19. “I would say I am surprised that the CPD has chosen to exclude me”

    Gary, Gary, Gary… maybe next time you will accept my offer to be your campaign manager. Next time we will not stop smoking weed, we will smoke MOARZ weed. I told you that quitting would cause delusions. Now get back on the pots immediately and call me in 3 and half years.

  20. RE: HIT & RUN BLOG
    Debate Commission Blocks Gary Johnson and Bill Weld

    How many times does it have to be said?
    Debates are for the wonderful people in the democratic and republican parties only.
    We need to listen (and vote for) to one of the two parties that have wisely made themselves a part of the ol’ boys network. They are wise beyond their years as witnessed at their (and their toadies) accumulation of wealth at our expense.
    Who in their right mind would want to listen to other than those who have so graciously fucked up our country?

    1. It will take 20%. At 16%, they will challenge the polls and of course, win.

  21. They used to be Dutch English settlers subject to the Dutch. That’s probably where they picked up their dope habit.

    And they weren’t the only town on Dutch Long Island inhabited by English settlers. When the Dutch governor tried to flush the Quakers out of New Netherlands (of which Long Island was a part), there was, ironically enough, a protest from the people of the town of Flushing.

    1. (Responding to Hyperion’s comment about Hempstead)

  22. If Johnson had been allowed he wouldn’t shut up about how he agrees with Bernie on 70% of the issues and turn off 80% of the country.
    Mr. Johnson what would you do about Raqqa?

    “Fuck. What is that? Listen I will say like Bernie I too like the color red.”

    1. ANOTHER fake GO-Pee sockpuppet? Look, you could do like Ronnie Reagan who skipped the Gerald Ford slot… and just vote for the rest of the LP ticket. Or if an infiltrator, go ahead and vote for your antichoice redneck geezer and his parasitical pals. Gary is what in South America we call a piranha bull. This is the sickly steer one drives into the river for the predators to attack while the rest of the herd crosses the ford upstream. The commie Populists did this in 1892. While James Weaver lost, three of their looters were elected congressmen on 8.5% of the vote. Since that was thrice the gap between gummint jobs and the politicians’ bread line they stampeded Congress into passing Communist Manifesto plank 2 as federal law as if it had been in both Kleptocracy platforms and they’d gotten 80% of the electoral votes. Trump himself is a piranha bull to draw media attention from the LP. Here’s an explanation:

  23. ‘Americans are tired of rigged systems,’ Johnson retorts. ‘We plan to be on the debate stage in October.’

    Are they gonna go rogue and crash the debate? That would be pretty epic, even if they just sat there in the front row.

    1. If past experience is anything to go by, they won’t even let 3rd party candidates get tickets to the debate.

      1. I’m sure to avoid anything that could be potentially “embarrassing” to the duopoly. And having a constant reminder to everyone of just how rigged the game is sitting there staring everyone in the face would certainly be embarrassing.

  24. I want to say that I remember in 1980 John Anderson pulled off “the debate the guys even though I didn’t get invited debate.”

    Originally Reagan wanted a three-way debate with Carter and Anderson, but Carter refused and we ended up with an Reagan-Anderson debate.

    Then close the election Carter and Reagan decided to have their own debate without Anderson.

    CNN, I think it was, put Anderson behind a podium in their studios. They broadcast the main debate and then would pause it at the appropriate time for Anderson to respond.

    Absolutely no reason why Gary couldn’t do this.

  25. Somebody explain to Matt the difference between a senile rich geezer and a party. A party has a platform with specific goals and candidates. Matt couldn’t–even under torture–reveal a single thing different in a Perot platform from a John Anderson or Kleptocracy platform. Both were chaff, clouds of tinfoil bits to reflect radar and confuse missiles, drooling idiots, media presstitutes and the Great Unwashed and keep them from reading the LP platform. It worked for a while, but the Asset Forfeiture Crash and Depression blew a 12-gauge hole in the house of cards.

  26. This is actually going to help us a lot more than if they included us.

    They have shown their total lack of interest in letting Americans listen to a candidate on all 50 ballots.

    They will be facing non-stop pressure as well as their sponsors Anheuser Busch. We can get the sponsors to just quit. The business fallout with people dumping AB products online down the drain will make them reconsider.

    And the days leading up to the debate will show America that we will not tolerate this outrage.

    The night of the debate…..tune into the JohnsonWeld simulcast debate online for millions to watch.

    let their ratings tank.

    Revenge is so sweet.

  27. Why doesn’t Johnson approach the media outlets and ask them to broadcast his comments during the debate? OR, perhaps a post-debate “special” with Gary Johnson to allow him to broadcast his views.

    1. Paging Mr. Stossel. Mr. John Stossel. Please pick up the white courtesy phone for an important message

  28. The war mongers are in panic mode and want to protect their interests.

  29. I’m relieved. I’d vote for a yaller chicken if it wuz nominated on our platform. That takes the heat off Gary debating for my benefit. But in-party the noob, the republican impostor and even the anarchist impostor all beat him in debates. He won the nomination because we prefer simple to fifth-column saboteurs. Besides, who but idiots watch teevee? believe in the Kleptocracy’s networks? This election we need the support of Aaron Swartz, not the looter media.

  30. This is a clear indication of the middle school antics that we have seen during this election thus far. The two popular groups that we all knew during our younger days (which usually consisting of rich, privileged, rude snobs) always keeping anyone that didn’t meet their criteria out. Then you had the one’s that always tried to be accepted (Clinton & Trump supporters) by these degenerates only to be let down time after time. So now we get to see these two degenerates go at it like a couple of rock’em sock’em robots delivering nothing of substance to the Americans who deserve so much better!

  31. Let Gary debate at the same time as the others, answering the same questions as the others, responding to their answers, even if it is a different stage and his portion of the debate is a live cast.
    Sure, Gary talking over the other candidates will create a cognitive dissonance, but isn’t that the perfect imagery for this election? Beside which, they aren’t going to say anything new. Gary will. Real time, on stage, online.
    In addition, this provides JohnsonWeld a complete record of Gary’s answers to the questions, meaning a treasure trove of new video and commercial experience, contrasting him with the others.
    #LetGaryDebate or, as I write it now #JohnsonEDebate or possibly #LetGaryDebateOnline

  32. Let them play! Let them play! Let them play!

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  34. The criterion should be: in how many states are you on the ballot? If a candidate is on the ballot in, say, three quarters or more of the fifty states, the candidate should be in the debate.

    1. Provided the total electoral votes of those states add up to at least 270. The electoral votes of the 38 least populous states don’t, but then again it would make no sense for someone to get on the ballot in those states, and only those.

  35. Major Media Publishers Deny Their Readers Journalism

    “Gary Johnson and Jill Stein Fail to Make Cut for First Debate,” “Johnson, Stein fail to qualify for first debate,” and “Gary Johnson, Jill Stein Fail to Qualify for First Presidential Debate,” are the three passive headlines chosen by the New York Times, CNN, and Wall Street Journal, respectively.

    Shouldn’t the headlines say something relevant to readers, and more active, like, “Voters deprived of chance to hear alternative candidates?” or, “Political group excludes candidates supported by millions of voters?” Shouldn’t headlines be written to attract readers’ interest?

    Who suggested these headlines? The stories that followed used pieces from other press releases, so one can guess that these publishers simply adapted the headline and attitude given by a press release from the establishment’s tool, the so-called “Commission” on Presidential Debates. I like Reason’s headline, above, better.

    CNN and the NYT both hid the fact (or “failed to mention”) that their poll was one that was used to exclude these candidates. The WSJ admitted to being a poll sponsor for one of the five polls used. None of them explained or defended their polling methodology, which was then averaged to exclude the most popular alternative candidates and disappoint their millions of supporters. Many polls lead with questions that omit candidates who are not a Democrat or Republican.

  36. What is stopping Libertarians or anyone else from forming their own private debate commission and holding a debate where the Libertarian candidate is invited? Currently neither the Democrats nor the Republicans are legally obliged to invite other participants, and doing so arguably is against their own interests. Let the market decide usually the Libertarian solution.

    1. What is stopping it is the two big parties’ refusal to participate in any thing that is fair and inclusive. For instance, Purdue University invited Trump, Clinton, and Johnson to “conversations” with the school’s President. Johnson accepted right away, and was recently on stage with the other fellow (who happens to be a CPD commissioner, Mitch Daniels). Apparently not wanting to lower themselves to the 3rd Party’s level, Trump and Clinton did not accept. This was no local civics club, it was friggin’ Purdue University, whose President (and designated host for the event) was ON the CPD! In contrast, when the IAVA arranged the MSNBC “Commander in Chief” Forum, they appear to have been instructed, behind the scenes, NOT to accommodate Johnson or Stein during the same telecast. If you look back at previous election cycles, you will see numerous events, to which ALL candidates were invited, but only the alternative candidates accepted, leading the events to be called, mistakenly, “third-party debates.” smh

      1. The CPD is a private concern and it is acting to further its own interests. Exactly as a Libertarian would expect of any private concern. Fair play has nothing to do with it.

        Clinton, Trump or any other American is not obliged to accept an invitation from Purdue.

        If Johnson wants time on TV, let him buy it, just like everyone else.

  37. “CPD Johnson-blocks 3rd Party ticket” ???

  38. Hopefully they stay committed to holding the informal debates, and bring their A-game. Not sure how effective it will be, but its something.

  39. The headline should be “Neo Facist posing as Libertarian fails to meet clearly laid out guidelines and throws a hissy fit”

    The current US candidates are the two most unpopular in history buy Garry “I control Speech” Johnson still fails to get support. Maybe be a Libertarian instead of telling reporters they can’t say words because “it just is” offensive, don’t have a VP who’s position on guns is literally what people say when they make fun of dumb people who know nothing about guns, don’t say that guns in the USA are for hunting and please just move on from pot and get to other issues if the stance you take is a moral one then ban it if not then legalise all drugs.

    Us Libertarians used to be about slashing the size of the Government, Choice and the Constitution but now the candidate who has the best chance in history spits on all of that and instead tries to get hippies to vote for his policies while trying to act smug and holier than thou with his country club “just so you know ok” attitude to people he disagree’s with.

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  43. We all know why they allowed Ross Perot to debate, and why they don’t now. Amidst two weak candidates that demand the media prop them up to create a circus atmosphere, they need the artificial dualism more than ever. Clinton is owed favours and she needs a boogeyman fall boy to make her even approach electable.
    A reasonable person on stage will shatter this completely.

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