Comment on the debate

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Greg Mitchell, Editor and Publisher:

In perhaps the most embarrassing performance by the media in a major presidential debate in years, ABC News hosts Charles Gibson and George Stephanopolous focused mainly on trivial issues

Tom Shales, Washington Post:

Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos turned in shoddy, despicable performances.

It’s hard to figure out which was more offensive: the relentless concentration on “gotcha” questions or the outrageous ideological bias in the substantive questions.

If the entertainers who play journalists on TV were real journalists getting the salaries that real journolists get, instead of pretty faces getting the six-and-seven-figure salaries that entertainers get, they’d have some idea what life is like economically for people living at no more than twice the median family income.

Update The comment line for ABC News is 818 460 7476. That’s what the switchboard operator at ABC told me. But she also told me that the voicemail box was full. I tried it and the number just rang and rang. Try calling tomorrow. Keep calling.

Second update Here’s the comment page on the debate.

9200 comments so far. In a quick sample, the overwhelming majority (at least 80%) criticize the network for the way the debate was handled. The rest are the usual Hillarybot-v.-Obamaniac sniping. No reason not to add your voice.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: