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Smiley On Last Week’s D.C. Debate

On Friday’s “Washington Journal,” debate host Tavis Smiley discussed the following topics:

The debate:

    “I take great pride in what we were able to do last night and I say “pride” not in a haughty sense but for the last couple of years we’ve been working really hard to fina a way to convince all the candidates, Democrat and Republican, to come to the table and to address issues of concern to people of color. We’re going to have the Republicans join us September 27th at Morgan State down the road in Baltimore for a conversation similar to the one last night. I did not have the infrastructure like most of the other news networks. As you know, Fox, NBC, and CNN have news divisions. What you saw last night, what I was able to do with a lot of support from other people to really galvanize the candidates to show up and they did, but not because a news division helped me but there were there and it was a great conversation.

On why the debate was held at 9 p.m. ET, missing newspaper deadlines:

    “I live in a place called Los Angeles and get sick and tired of being on the West Coast and left out of everything because of the East–East Coast Establishment. And so, it was important to me, my show, is the first show i the history of PBS to emanate live from the West Coast every day. I have a bias in the other direction for folks on the West Coast who get left out.”

On the cost of putting together the debate:

    ” I think over the course of two of these events, we tried to keep our budget about 750. And I know some sources inside some of the other networks one in particular spent about 1.7 million on one debate. 1.7. We’re public television and trying to squeeze two out of about 750, I think.”

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