Monday, October 22, 2012 | Categories:
Are the US Presidential Debates broken? - Panel
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney square off for the third and final Presidential debate tonight. But there's something especially revealing about this particular commentary, which is the result of a prank pulled that we started our segment with by late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, right before the last debate.
The fact that U.S. voters are willing to make forceful conclusions about a political punch-up they never even saw certainly undermines confidence in the influence of debates. There's the leaked copy of the terms both campaigns agreed to for last week's town-hall debate ... the moderator was forbidden to ask follow-up questions and would cut-off any audience member who tried to ask a question that wasn't pre-screened. And then there's the fact that Honey Boo Boo attracted more viewers.
It's all led us to mount our own debate: Be it resolved that the US Presidential debates no longer a useful forum for questioning candidates on important issues.
Arguing in favour of the resolution is Jeff Milchen, co-founder and board member of Reclaim Democracy. He was in Bozeman, Montana.
And arguing against the resolution is Diana Carlin. She's a professor of communication at St. Louis University, where she teaches a course on political debates. And she has done extensive focus group testing and content analysis of past Presidential Debates.
So, who do you think won our debate? Cast your vote below:
Other segments from today's show: