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Thursday, October 4, 2012

The 2nd Thread For 10/4/12: The Death of the Debate Format



Last time I checked, the year was 2012.

It is not 1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 or even 2008. Instead, it's 2012, where a debate moderator for a national debate has the tools at his or her disposal to stop liars from spreading their blatant mendacity.

Instead, we get another pathetic, human spectacle like last night, where Jim Lehrer did not come even close to checking Romney on his usual, blatant storytelling.

It was another painful debate of many painful debates where it spelled the official end of the debate format in my eyes.

Debates have long been dreadful for years, as candidates on both sides could use their half-truths and zingers (boy, those Romney zingers were so invisible last night) and not have to worry about whether they would be called out for saying any pure misinformation (unless they were a Democrat, because they can never and should lie or else).

But we are in 2012, where facts can pop up all over the stream in an instance. We already know the positions of the candidates in the journalism world, and we could greatly inform those who haven't had time to pay attention by popping up the simple things we know.

Instead, the networks choose to be idle until maybe an hour after to focus on the facts, giving primary treatment to who was supposedly more energetic and who was more lethargic.

Because damn the facts, optics matter the most in our vapid American culture.

Lehrer looked very old on stage last night, but the current state of American debates is even more antiquated.

If we had a functioning, stable middle class society, than last night would have been the final straw for the current debate format. Instead, it will be just the latest of many more awful debates, where Republican half-truths, quarter-truths,  and outright lies will be tolerated at the expense of informing the American public.

Updated 

From Igor, Romney told a wonderful 27 myths in 38 minutes. It was barely under a myth a minute if you do the math.

And from Stein and Carter, those studies that Romney says prove his tax cut won't produce a $4.8 trillion deficit. They don't exist/contradict what he says. What a surprise.


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