I guess this is a little late (I think an Obama-Romney debate is in progress as I write this), but I just heard about the leaked memo detailing the agreements between the two camps, including the restriction on follow-up questions from not only the town-hall question askers, but even the debate moderator. Glenn Greenwald details just how insidious the politics of these debates has become since the League of Women Voters lost control of them in the 1990′s.
Even ignoring these factors, what possible value could there be in watching the debates? Nothing is more vacuous or clearly propagandistic. If your goal is to determine what sort of President either of these men would be, watching the debates would be one of the least productive possible uses of your time. There is no correlation. Look at their records, read some analysis, even consider the candidates’ own words from two years ago. But, please, disregard anything said during campaign season.
If you’re just interested in watching for entertainment value, I suppose that’s fair enough (though I question your taste), but keep in mind that your patronage of the networks that cover this propaganda extravaganza is supporting a deeply troubling regime of manipulation of our political process. (16)