The six topics, selected by moderator Bob Schieffer, are as follows: “America’s role in the world”; Afghanistan and Pakistan; Israel and Iran; “The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism” (part one); “The Changing Middle East and the New Face of Terrorism (part two); and “The Rise of China and Tomorrow’s World.”
Given that four focus on the Middle East, there is reason to argue that “Tomorrow’s World” is getting short shrift. New powers have been established or are on the rise, new geopolitical landscapes have formed, and global issues — from health issues in Africa to the drug trade in Latin America to the financial crisis in the Eurozone — are increasingly pressing. On the other hand, more American lives are at risk in the Middle East and Af-Pak region than in anywhere else around the globe, and the nation’s national and energy security, as well as that of its allies, is very much dependent on developments in the region.
This highlights another issue with the “view from nowhere” journalistic position assumed by moderators: because the “view from nowhere” more often than not consists of an aggregate of talking points from both sides, the stories that both candidates are telling get more attention. Hence the focus on the Middle East at the exclusion of the rest of the world.