In an unexpected last-minute compromise, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. and Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley agreed in principle yesterday to a live, televised debate tomorrow to air on WBAL-TV in Baltimore and Maryland Public Television, campaign and station officials confirmed yesterday.
Many details are being negotiated, but officials said the debate will begin at 7 p.m. and last one hour. It will be hosted by the Maryland League of Women Voters.
A week ago, no debates had been scheduled and the candidates appeared increasingly unlikely to reach a compromise. Now, the candidates will tape a debate with WJZ-TV in Baltimore tomorrow afternoon to air at 7 p.m. Monday. They will then take part in the second debate later tomorrow.
Great, so I knew about the debate tonight on Friday, awesome. But what about the televised debate at 7pm on Saturday night? The Sun mentions it, but not that it is on TV. Instead, they make it seem like nothing is being televised Saturday night.
Now the late agreement by O'Malley and Ehrlich is partially to blame for this. But still, it just rubs me the wrong way. The MPT website is WORTHLESS, and carried no information about any of the televised debate on Friday. Sure, they have them up now, but that wasn't helpful when the story broke friday. And what is up with announcing televised debates as a friday news dump.
The whole thing sucks, and will only keep voters in the dark about specific issues in this race. Instead, they can keep feeding on the Ads, which are never in short supply. I have had repeated issues this year finding information about everything from Senate primary debates, to Senate debates, to Mayoral debates. Yet, I have no problem hearing and even seeing debates between senate candidates from OTHER states when flipping channels.
All Maryland candidates who will be debating need to decide early when they will be meeting, and make sure the press has all the details. Then, the press needs to DO THEIR JOB and make sure that information is clearly and widely disseminated.
So, hopefully, maybe, if you are lucky, there may or may not be a debate-like event between two men who may or may not be running for Governor in a state that could possibly be Maryland, at 7 pm on MPT (pending factual approval from The Sun).