The Washington Times

22 February 2016

Jennifer Harper

As mentioned previously, the tenth Republican debate looms Thursday ‘ hosted by CNN and Telemundo, moderated by Wolf Blitzer and staged at the University of Houston in Texas. But there are complaints. Some say entertainment outweighs policy information: Robert Rosenkranz ‘ founder of Intelligence Squared U.S., an organization that has staged 117 public policy debates ‘ counsels that things must change.

‘Prime-time presidential debates were a brilliant innovation of the 1960s, meant to inform voters and let them see the candidates in action. Their format, however, is due for an update,’ Mr. Rosenkranz wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Monday, with co-author John Donvan, former White House correspondent for ABC News. ‘These debates tell voters almost nothing that can’t be gathered from 30-second campaign ads. There is no time for depth, no payoff for nuance, no serious discussion of policy.’

The two urge the Commission on Presidential Debates to adopt an ‘Oxford-style’ debate ‘ no trick questions, no memorized talking points ‘disguised as answers,’ and candidates who actually debate each other. They also cite the sterling example set by the seven Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 which cast challenger Abraham Lincoln against incumbent Stephen A. Douglas for the U.S. Senate seat in Illinois.

‘We need a format that is more Lincoln-Douglas, less reality TV,’ explain Mssrs. Rosenkranz and Donvan.

Read Full Article