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Can a televised debate in 2019 really serve the public interest?
Given the state of American media and politics, it seems like a long shot. We’re just too addicted to horse-race politics, reality-TV values and social-media snark for something as earnest as that.
But Tuesday night’s debate in Ohio had potential. The candidate field had been winnowed, and among the moderators was New York Times National Editor Marc Lacey, who brought an ink-stained seriousness to the table that also included two respectable CNN hosts: Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett.
In fact, it wasn’t awful. As with the previous three debates, patient and dedicated viewers had a chance to learn a lot about the candidates — and to see, once again, the striking diversity of a field that includes multiple women and people of color and a gay man.
But it could have been so much better. Here’s my Wednesday-morning quarterbacking of what would have helped both in the debate planning and execution.
1. Including questions about climate change and voting rights.Granted, the time was limited (though hardly short), but these are two of the most crucial issues of our time. And they are sorely underexplored on the
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