The gubernatorial debate open line | Arkansas Blog

Friday, September 19, 2014

The gubernatorial debate open line

Posted By on Fri, Sep 19, 2014 at 4:38 PM

click to enlarge debate.png

Here's an open line and — below — today's video news roundup.

KARK and related stations will be holding a televised gubernatorial debate tonight at 7 p.m. between Democrat Mike Ross and Republican Asa Hutchinson. 

No coverage by the Arkansas Blog is planned because tonight is the Arkansas Times' celebration of its 40th anniversary. See this week's issue — on newsstands and on-line — for a look at our checkered past.

But, please, crowd-sourcing is welcome. Tune in to the debate and tell us what you think.

I'm happy for some relief from sound bites and well-rehearsed talking points. Yesterday, I mocked Tom Cotton's political spinner, Rep. John Burris, for again whining about insufficient debate response from Mark Pryor. I said if Cotton was so willing to debate, why wouldn't he take my calls (and those of many other reporters)? Sen. Michael Lamoureux rose to Cotton's defense, suggesting it was pointless to return a call to someone who's mind was already made up.

And TV candidate debates ever changed either participant's mind? If that's the standard, Cotton shouldn't be debating at all. He knows everything and is both intellectually and morally superior to Mark Pryor. Just ask him.

But back to the Arkansas Times. As I wrote this week, it's remarkable that we've survived 40 years. It's thanks in part to the uncommon talent publisher Alan Leveritt was able to entice to work here  and the voices that staff encouraged to contribute. Consider this Murderers' Row of talent — nationally published and honored artists, thinkers, writers and reporters who've appeared in these pages (and I've left out dozens of worthy people):

Mara Leveritt, Bill Terry, James Scudder, Bob Lancaster, Mel White, Miller Williams, Dee Brown, Crescent Dragonwagon, Richard Martin, John Brummett, Charles Portis, Deborah Mathis, George Fisher, Jim Bailey, Ellen Gilchrist, Ernest Dumas, Doug Smith, Leslie Newell Peacock, John Walker, James Morgan, Gene Lyons, Kevin Brockmeier, Rashod Ollison, David Koon, David Ramsey. 

Good company.

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