When Is a Debate Not Really a Debate?

If Wednesday night is a precursor of the debates to come; I say, “No thanks.”  The first Republican presidential candidate debate hosted by Fox News was bad enough.

In the aftermath of who won, who scored, who delivered the best cleverly scripted one-liner, and which candidate exited the stage having done him/herself no favors, doesn’t the viewing public deserve to watch a real debate? The disingenuous format of the CNN debate prompted a boorish, often times irrelevant exchange of insults amongst the candidates. Quite frankly, it was tedious to watch the CNN network moderators framing each question beginning with, ________________ (insert candidate’s name) recently said ________________ (insert comment).  “What say you?” 

Enough of the "He said, She said,” format!   That’s not a debate, it’s an inglorious gotcha moment, providing numerous opportunities for interruptions, in addition to begging for a fisticuffs. It’s also an instant turnoff for most voters. And that’s what I did; I turned off the television after the first hour of the second debate. In plainspeak; it was hugely disappointing to watch and I quickly lost interest, especially at the point where Donald Trump and Jeb Bush wasted time bickering like children about casino gambling in Florida. CNN, you blew it!  Pitting eleven people on stage against each other, presenting questions to the candidates in the format of having to first skewer his or her opponent, leaving precious little time to express their viewpoint on selected topics, is not a debate.  It would have been more entertaining to hand each candidate a foam bat and stand back. Which is a polite and perhaps, less bloody way of saying, “We at CNN really don’t care about what you have to say as a presidential candidate, we simply want you beat your opponents senseless.”  Last man or woman standing…. wins. The ratings would have gone through the roof.

The disappointing spectacle broadcast by CNN on Wednesday night was not a formal debate, since specific topics were not put forward to each candidate for discussion, allowing each candidate to express his or her viewpoint. The regurgitation of previous comments or remarks by the candidates, made at some time prior to the debate, was insipid and boring. Most the candidates never got the opportunity to present a whole picture of themselves to the audience. At one point early on, moderator Jake Tapper had to be reminded to call upon Mike Huckabee. It was obvious to anyone watching that the only way to get a word in edgewise, was to interrupt the ongoing conversation, as Carly Fiorina did so on multiple occasions. Chris Christie may have thought Ms. Fiorina annoying and rude, but in retrospect, can anyone blame her? After the first hour, the rarely called upon candidates were effectively sidelined. 

Which brings me back to my original question, don’t we, the voters, deserve a real debate? More importantly, at what point in time does the discussion amongst the Republican presidential candidate hopefuls focus on the failed policies of Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton’s desire to perpetuate his legacy for a third term?  

If Wednesday night is a precursor of the debates to come; I say, “No thanks.”  The first Republican presidential candidate debate hosted by Fox News was bad enough.

In the aftermath of who won, who scored, who delivered the best cleverly scripted one-liner, and which candidate exited the stage having done him/herself no favors, doesn’t the viewing public deserve to watch a real debate? The disingenuous format of the CNN debate prompted a boorish, often times irrelevant exchange of insults amongst the candidates. Quite frankly, it was tedious to watch the CNN network moderators framing each question beginning with, ________________ (insert candidate’s name) recently said ________________ (insert comment).  “What say you?” 

Enough of the "He said, She said,” format!   That’s not a debate, it’s an inglorious gotcha moment, providing numerous opportunities for interruptions, in addition to begging for a fisticuffs. It’s also an instant turnoff for most voters. And that’s what I did; I turned off the television after the first hour of the second debate. In plainspeak; it was hugely disappointing to watch and I quickly lost interest, especially at the point where Donald Trump and Jeb Bush wasted time bickering like children about casino gambling in Florida. CNN, you blew it!  Pitting eleven people on stage against each other, presenting questions to the candidates in the format of having to first skewer his or her opponent, leaving precious little time to express their viewpoint on selected topics, is not a debate.  It would have been more entertaining to hand each candidate a foam bat and stand back. Which is a polite and perhaps, less bloody way of saying, “We at CNN really don’t care about what you have to say as a presidential candidate, we simply want you beat your opponents senseless.”  Last man or woman standing…. wins. The ratings would have gone through the roof.

The disappointing spectacle broadcast by CNN on Wednesday night was not a formal debate, since specific topics were not put forward to each candidate for discussion, allowing each candidate to express his or her viewpoint. The regurgitation of previous comments or remarks by the candidates, made at some time prior to the debate, was insipid and boring. Most the candidates never got the opportunity to present a whole picture of themselves to the audience. At one point early on, moderator Jake Tapper had to be reminded to call upon Mike Huckabee. It was obvious to anyone watching that the only way to get a word in edgewise, was to interrupt the ongoing conversation, as Carly Fiorina did so on multiple occasions. Chris Christie may have thought Ms. Fiorina annoying and rude, but in retrospect, can anyone blame her? After the first hour, the rarely called upon candidates were effectively sidelined. 

Which brings me back to my original question, don’t we, the voters, deserve a real debate? More importantly, at what point in time does the discussion amongst the Republican presidential candidate hopefuls focus on the failed policies of Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton’s desire to perpetuate his legacy for a third term?