DANVILLE, KY - A film crew from CNN, headed up by veteran newsman Bruce Morton, spent two days on the Centre College campus and in Danville filming a segment for "Inside Politics." The piece aired Monday, Sept. 11, as the capstone for that day's edition of the program.
CNN planned the piece in response to widespread news coverage and controversy about the schedule for this year's cycle of general election debates. Centre was chosen in January by the Commission on Presidential Debates to host the only vice presidential debate this year, but Republican nominee George Bush threw the debate schedule into question by announcing his own preferences for a more restrictive debate schedule.
Bush's surprise Sept. 3 announcement eliminated Danville as a debate site, prompting a flurry of national media coverage. Prior to the CNN visit to campus, stories on National Public Radio and ABC News and in the Washington Post explored how debate sites are chosen and what is required to prepare for the multi-network television broadcast of each debate.
Morton and his executive producer, Shirley Hung, focused the CNN piece on how Centre joined hands nearly a year ago with the entire town of Danville to become a debate site. Morton included a song by local elementary pupils, interviews with Centre students and Centre President John Roush, a visit to the Kentucky School for the Deaf, and conversations with local residents at sites ranging from Burke's Bakery to Farmers National Bank.
According to Roush, prospects for the debate in Danville are improving. Janet Brown, executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates, apparently will meet in Washington later this week with representatives of the Republican and Democratic parties.
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Public information coordinator: Patsi Barnes Trollinger