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How the parties collaborated to make the "debates" as boring as possilbe - Input Junkie
October 16th, 2012
06:34 pm

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How the parties collaborated to make the "debates" as boring as possilbe
Greenwald:
Gawker's John Cook has an excellent breakdown of the 21-page memo. In his piece, entitled "Leaked Debate Agreement Shows Both Obama and Romney are Sniveling Cowards", Cook details how the rules imposed on these debates demonstrate that, above all else, "both campaigns are terrified at anything even remotely spontaneous happening."

Under this elaborate regime, the candidates "aren't permitted to ask each other questions, propose pledges to each other, or walk outside a 'predesignated area.'" Worse, "the audience members posing questions aren't allowed to ask follow-ups (their mics will be cut off as soon as they get their questions out). Nor will moderator Candy Crowley." The rules even "forbid television coverage from showing reaction shots of the candidates".

Link thanks to Alexei Panshin.

ETA: From NPR: That agreement is what the campaigns want from the debate, but it isn't binding on the moderator or the stations, so the moderator says she'll do follow-up questions if a candidate goes off topic, and there may be reaction shots in the broadcast.

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From:agrumer
Date:October 17th, 2012 04:08 am (UTC)
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Romney asked Obama a direct question in tonight's debate (and tried to talk over him when he didn't give the answer Romney wanted). They seemed to be wandering around the stage without any sort of limits. We saw reaction shots. Crowley asked follow-ups.
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From:nancylebov
Date:October 17th, 2012 12:50 pm (UTC)
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And I wouldn't say the audience was limited to softball questions.
From:paulshandy
Date:October 18th, 2012 01:05 am (UTC)
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I've never seen a presidental debate as vigorous as those at the high school debate tournaments I used to compete in.
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