Deliberately Omitted? What’s Missing From The Debates

Judging by the questions that have been asked during the two presidential and one vice-presidential debates, one might have the impression that all Americans care about are the economy and Iraq. Granting the legitimacy of concerns about both, John J. Pitney Jr. runs through a list of topics thus far absent from discussion.

Not that I put a lot of stock in presidential debates these days (where the emphasis seems to rely chiefly on looking good and scoring some cheap sound-byte zingers against your opponent — “say it ain’t so, Joe! — to be replayed ad nauseaum on tomorrow’s television, with victory pronounced by both sides depending on whether your CNN or Fox News) but I agree with Adelman that “viewers might learn more about the candidates if they had to discuss other matters, especially those that have dared not speak their names.”

On a comical note:

2 Responses to Deliberately Omitted? What’s Missing From The Debates

  1. Those one minute debate recuts are high-larious.

    It could only be better if they were done in thirty seconds with bunnies…

  2. I caught CNN’s live coverage of a McCain-Palin town hall meeting last week. One questioner asked:

    “I wanted to ask you about — about the issue of abortion, and specifically about the debate a couple of nights ago. The moderator cleverly never brought this — the question up.

    And with the debate coming up again, I would ask if you’re going to find a way to bring the subject up, even if it’s not asked about, because I firmly believe it’s an issue which you have the advantage.”

    Before McCain could answer CNN speedily cut away, changing the topic to the national debt clock before going to commercial.

    Who decides which issues are important?

    How much are the issues Americans say they care about determined by what issues news editors care and report about?

    I know I’m affected by how the news frames the debate. When answering the pollsters bombarding Colorado phone lines, I’ve had to remind myself to add cultural issues when asked what top issues were of concern to me.

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