Longtime Wisconsin debate moderator wants rule changes for next debate: ‘It isn’t wrestling; it’s about education’

The commission on presidential debates said it will announce changes to the presidential debate format after seeing how Tuesday night’s presidential debate went.

A longtime debate moderator in Wisconsin hopes the next debate looks more like the ones put on in the state.

Since 2014, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association has allowed moderators to cut the mics when people went over time or couldn’t follow the rules.

Jill Geisler, a former broadcaster and leader in news media, said she hopes the commission on presidential debates will put in more measures to maintain the purpose of these debates.

“It isn’t an entertainment program,” she said. “It isn’t wrestling. It’s about education. It’s about communication, and it should be about civility. And if you have to enforce the civility and the fairness by using a kill switch on a microphone, you can do that.”

In addition to cutting mics, Geisler said the camera team and control room can choose to keep the visual only on the person who is supposed to be speaking.

She said you don’t have to cut away to an interruption like it’s action to follow.

Both candidates would have to agree to these changes before they would participate in the debate. Geisler said in Wisconsin they haven’t had an issue with getting a candidate to agree to these controls.