Tonight's Debate: Schieffer, Obama, and McCain's Manhood

I'm glad Bob Schieffer is looking forward to moderating tonight's debate. I like Bob Schieffer. I don't watch Face the Nation, but that's because it is only a half an hour long, and I prefer the hour-long format. When I do see Schieffer in action, I generally like what I see. Schieffer is annoying in the exact same ways that all contemporary political pundits are annoying, but less so.

The first debate was at podiums and the second debate was townhall-style. Tonight's debate will be the sit-down variety, where the moderator and the two candidates share a table. I like the fact that the three debates are done in three different styles because it gives the voter a variety of perspectives by testing the candidates in different ways.

The sit-down style of debate is the most intimate and is generally thought to be the least conducive for personal attacks. There are several psychological reasons, for both the candidates and the viewing audience, why this is thought to be the case. It's much harder to level a personal attack at someone's face than it is when you are directing your remarks to a camera, a studio audience, or the moderator. From the viewer's point-of-view, it is perceived as rude to insult someone with whom you are sharing a table. For these reasons, sit-down debates tend to be both more chatty and more amiable. It won't be possible for McCain to repeat his performance from debate one, where he refused to acknowledge Obama's presence. And if he tries to repeat his stunt from debate two, referring to Obama as 'that one', it will come off very badly, indeed.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
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