While much attention was given to the trivial questions asked in the final debate of the 2008 primary season, the problems with the debates went much deeper and highlight some of the broader weaknesses in the news media's coverage of the presidential campaign.
But the degree to which debates do this is dependent on those who moderate them. Those moderators ask the questions and guide the discussion. If they are focused on trivia, the debates will be about trivial matters, and the public will be no better equipped to make an informed decision.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
"Change the Debate: How Gaffes, Games, & Gotchas Dominated the 2008 Presidential Primary Debates" (with video)
Media Matters for America, with video (02:21):