We've come to lower our expectations for real debates in the "debate" process, but this one was terrible.
Who picked the questions from the, we were told, six million sent in online plus the dozens from the people in the hall? The first half was fine but then why go into the same foreign policy questions raised two weeks ago -- knowing they were certain to draw the very same, almost word for word responses? After kicking off the debate by saying we were in the worst economic crisis in 80 years?
The transcript for the last half hour could have been typed up in advance.
Remember, this was supposed to be the "domestic policy" debate. Yet there we were once again talking about raids on Pakistan and defending Israel. Brokaw and the organizers let down the American public.
Brokaw kept complaining that the candidates were not staying within their time limits--and then did nothing to stop them beyond pleading with them to, maybe, keep an eye on the flashing lights, pretty please, huh?
And his "follow up" questions were weak.
I thought I'd never say this but -- maybe they should let the blogosphere handle the next one.
Greg Mitchell is editor of Editor & Publisher. His new book on Iraq and the media is "So Wrong for So Long."