Originally Posted: October 19, 2020
BY BEN VOTH, OPINION CONTRIBUTOR
Presidential debates exist as a televised tradition since 1960 in the United States, but the Commission on Presidential debates (CPD) presented this year is horribly flawed and must be re-imagined. Moderators have evolved to be the center of attention rather than the candidates — who seize on the opportunity to deliver propaganda rather than defend the policy. Our drift to “town hall” formats is an unfulfilling and unrevealing substitute for true debate.
The debate scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 22, is likely to be the final presidential debate of the 2020 election season — this despite talk of a possible make-up debate for the missed Oct. 15 debate.
Since the CPD took over the League of Women Voters’ debates in 1987, viewership averages over 60 million. By comparison, the Super Bowl gets 100 million, political conventions get 10-20 million, popular TV shows get 5 million, and even vice-presidential debates like the one between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden in 2008 can attract more than 70 million. READ MORE