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NEWS
October 19, 2012
Once again, I have to agree with Susan Reimer - presidential debates are truly painful to watch ("No debate," Oct. 18). I watched the first 15 minutes of the first debate, 3-4 minutes of the vice presidential debates but chose not to watch the most recent debate. So-called reality TV is pretty pathetic, and the debates certainly come pretty close to being simply another reality TV program. I would however, extend my criticism to the whole campaign process, which seems to be endless.
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NEWS
By Jules Witcover | December 2, 2013
One of the best features of our quadrennial presidential campaigns is the series of debates between the major party nominees, plus another between their running mates. Voters tune in by the millions and get a better look at them than they might at any number of staged political events, whether run by the parties or by news-media sponsors. On the theory that if it's not broken, don't fix it, for the last six cycles the debates have been organized and conducted by a bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates.
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NEWS
October 21, 2012
After watching the first two presidential debates, I can't help but wonder if we might not be better served by having a debate between Sen. Rob Portman, who stood in for President Obama in mock debates with Mitt Romney, and Sen. John Kerry, who stood in for Mr. Romney in mock debates with Mr. Obama. These two senators studied hard to be able to be convincing surrogates and would probably do a great job in debating each other on the real facts and issues in this campaign without letting tempers or one-upmanship get in the way. David Gosey, Towson
NEWS
November 20, 2012
In the past, Americans watched the presidential debates and heard the TV and newspaper commentary afterward. In 2012, however, the setup changed. This year, instead of watching the debates, citizens read live, moment-to-moment commentary on the event via Twitter, the social networking site. In 140 characters or less, users of Twitter (over 500 million worldwide) can tweet about anything and everything, including how the presidential candidates were performing in the debates. People could watch the debate on television while simultaneously tweeting about it from their laptops.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | December 2, 2013
One of the best features of our quadrennial presidential campaigns is the series of debates between the major party nominees, plus another between their running mates. Voters tune in by the millions and get a better look at them than they might at any number of staged political events, whether run by the parties or by news-media sponsors. On the theory that if it's not broken, don't fix it, for the last six cycles the debates have been organized and conducted by a bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates.
NEWS
By JACK W. GERMOND & JULES WITCOVER | October 27, 1997
WASHINGTON -- When the Commission on Presidential Debates held a seminar here the other day reviewing the 1996 debates and looking ahead to 2000, much was said about diminished voter interest. Considering the relatively lackluster Bob Dole challenge to Bill Clinton, it wasn't any great surprise.Audience reactionAudiences for the debates, after increasing in 1992 for thethree-way exchanges among Mr. Clinton, George Bush and Ross Perot, slipped when Mr. Perot was denied participation and the other two contenders had it out between them.
NEWS
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | October 16, 2012
Two weeks ago, the conventional wisdom was that televised presidential debates weren't going to matter much this year. Then a TV debate took place in Denver on Oct. 3, and we are still talking about Big Bird being threatened, moderator Jim Lehrer getting steamrolled, President Barack Obama under-performing and the polls flipping from “done deal” to “game on” overnight. Voters knew the debates mattered, even as the media and political wise men and women were telling them they didn't.
NEWS
By RICHARD E. VATZ and LEE S. WEINBERG | October 11, 1992
"If Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered. . . ." That was the strange beginning of the most famous exchange of the 1988 presidential debates, an exchange between CNN's Bernard Shaw and Michael Dukakis in which Mr. Dukakis' impassive and clinical response defending his opposition to the death penalty sealed his fate in the election itself.That is the conventional wisdom -- but it is wrong.In fact, hours before that final presidential debate, ABC's Peter Jennings had reported that Mr. Bush's lead appeared to be insurmountable, in all likelihood regardless of what happened in the debate.
NEWS
By JACK GERMOND & JULES WITCOVER | October 24, 1997
WASHINGTON -- With no incumbent running in 2000, the Commission on Presidential Debates expects there will be debates the next time around, and also hopes that the commission will have a firmer hand on organizing them.Paul Kirk, the former Democratic National Chairman who is co-chairman of the commission, says the panel will be stipulating to all prospective nominees well in advance how, when and where the debates will be conducted, and asserting a lead role for the commission in debate negotiations.
NEWS
By CLARENCE PAGE | April 25, 2008
There may not be any more presidential debates between Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, partly because of the bad aroma that ABC's interrogation before Pennsylvania's primary left behind in many noses. In fact, when you consider the rising risks that televised debates pose in the age of YouTube, especially for front-runners, we'll be lucky to see any more presidential debates at all. North Carolina's Democratic Party has canceled the debate that CBS had hoped to broadcast this Sunday, in advance of the state's May 6 primary.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | November 7, 2012
Tuesday night's election generated a record-setting political coversation of 28.5 million social media comments, according to Bluefin Labs. The previous high was 12.2 million social media comments made in connection with the second presidential debate, according to the Boston-based firm that specializes in social-media metrics. The first debate drew 11.2 million comments. Not surprisingly, the high point Tuesday came between 11:15 and 11:30 p.m. after NBC News, CNN and others projected Barack Obama's re-election.
NEWS
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | October 24, 2012
The final presidential debate Monday drew a TV audience of 59.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media. That's down from the 67.2 million and 65.6 million for the first and second debates, respectively. But it still shows huge interest -- particularly when you consider that the debate was up against a game seven in the National League Championship series and "Monday Night Football," which together drew more than 18 million viewers. Mentions in social media were down as well -- to about 8 million, according to Bluefin Labs.
NEWS
October 21, 2012
After watching the first two presidential debates, I can't help but wonder if we might not be better served by having a debate between Sen. Rob Portman, who stood in for President Obama in mock debates with Mitt Romney, and Sen. John Kerry, who stood in for Mr. Romney in mock debates with Mr. Obama. These two senators studied hard to be able to be convincing surrogates and would probably do a great job in debating each other on the real facts and issues in this campaign without letting tempers or one-upmanship get in the way. David Gosey, Towson
NEWS
October 19, 2012
I turned on my TV to watch the second scheduled presidential debate and instead saw an old-fashioned street brawl break out ("Obama takes an aggressive stand," Oct. 17). Both participants were an embarrassment. The so-called debate convinced me that the two-party system in our country is irrevocably broken and needs to be fixed sooner rather than later. President Obama and former governor Mitt Romney aren't totally to blame for their performance. Over the years the media have bent and twisted the protocol of the debates, which were originally instituted to discuss issues, not to get into verbal skirmishes full of half-truths, embellishments of the truth and, worst of all, full-throated denigration of one's opponent.
NEWS
October 19, 2012
Once again, I have to agree with Susan Reimer - presidential debates are truly painful to watch ("No debate," Oct. 18). I watched the first 15 minutes of the first debate, 3-4 minutes of the vice presidential debates but chose not to watch the most recent debate. So-called reality TV is pretty pathetic, and the debates certainly come pretty close to being simply another reality TV program. I would however, extend my criticism to the whole campaign process, which seems to be endless.
NEWS
October 17, 2012
The post-debate headlines highlighted the tension and the incumbent's vastly improved performance from their first encounter. The consensus from the polls and pundits is that President Barack Obama got the best of Mitt Romney at the town hall debate at Hofstra University on Tuesday night, and we are inclined to agree. But presidential debates aren't like scholastic competitions, where scores are added up by a bunch of teacher-advisers analyzing points and counter-points and the winner walks off with a trophy.
NEWS
By John Fairhall and John Fairhall,Washington Bureau | October 11, 1992
WASHINGTON -- In a culture in which sports supply the metaphors for just about everything, it's not surprising that presidential debates are talked about like heavyweight VTC championship fights, media-hyped events that create exaggerated expectations.Can defending champ George Bush deliver a knockout punch in his final fight? Will the less experienced Democratic challenger, Bill Clinton, make a fatal mistake?Questions like these heighten the suspense leading up to the first debate tonight, but they create a misleading impression that debates transform elections.
NEWS
By Jason Song and Jason Song,SUN STAFF | October 1, 2004
COLLEGE PARK - Many of the University of Maryland students here who watched the presidential debate last night came for extra credit. The rest seemingly came for entertainment. Although students were encouraged to leave their politics at the door, they repeatedly chuckled at President Bush's comments and chortled at Sen. John Kerry as the two candidates discussed homeland security and foreign policy. "He was funny, he didn't know what to say," Megan deMagnus, a freshman from Silver Spring, said of Bush.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | October 17, 2012
Nearly 66 million voters watched Tuesday's town hall debate between President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney. While that audience is slightly down from the 67.2 million who saw the first debate, it is still a huge TV gathering -- up by 2.4 million viewers from the second debate in 2008 when Obama drew rock-star ratings every time he appeared on TV. The third and final debate will be held Monday with Bob Scieffer, of CBS News, as...
NEWS
Susan Reimer | October 17, 2012
Considering my line of work, I bet you think I am watching the presidential debates. I bet you think I get together with like-minded friends and root for President Barack Obama, or Vice President Joe Biden, and then my friends and I critique, or excuse, their performances while reinforcing each other's opinions. Well, you would be wrong. I can't bring myself to watch the debates. First thing the next morning, though, I sign on to Facebook and read the comments there to get an idea of how things went the night before.
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