by David Safier
Today's Star gives a more complete picture of the Goddard/Brewer debates than yesterday's paper, including an editorial stating we need more debates.
Bodfield has a fact checker story on the debate. I'm not wonky enough to know if she got it exactly right, but it looks to me like she presented a reasonably balanced discussion of the facts.
The Star also ran a Howard Fischer article about Brewer refusing to participate in any more debates. In the middle is a discussion of Brewer's running away from the beheadings issue. Here's a great quote from Brewer:
"All you guys were doing and talking were beheadings, beheadings, beheadings," the governor said. "That is something that has stuck with you all for so long, and I just felt we needed to move on."
Journalists should answer Brewer, "We'll stop talking about your beheadings claim when you've adequately answered the question." And saying she wasn't referring to Arizona is not an answer.
Yes, Jan, when you talked about beheadings, you were referring specifically to Arizona. You can run, but journalists shouldn't let you hide.
Finally, an editorial says we need more debates. The main reason: we need to hear the candidates state their positions in an off-the-campaign-trail forum where they are less able to rely on canned sound bites. The piece goes pretty hard against Brewer, and it correctly states Goddard needs to give more specifics about his plans and ideas, not just send people to his website.
I don't want to overpraise The Star. I'll just say this: Today the paper presented the kind of complete debate coverage readers deserve in the news section and wrote a pointed, important editorial on the topic.
DEBATE POLL NOTE: On the web, you'll find a poll at the beginning of the editorial: "Do you think there should be more debates among the candidates for governor?" Take the poll!
UPDATE: AzBlueMeanie rightly points out below that The Star edited the Fischer article to soften the beheadings passage. Good catch. But compared to the Star's recent record, I'll take today's debate coverage. Even if the edges are softened a bit, the basic facts are there. Yesterday, there was not a single mention of the post-debate beheadings train wreck.