Media treat presidential campaigns like a game show

Roll Call

Presidential candidate debates, writes Stuart Rothenberg, "have become a form of reality TV, with moderators and political reporters looking for intriguing storylines to attract more viewers and to force more confrontation among the candidates." Rothenberg argues that the problem with this approach is that debates reward characteristics that aren't necessarily the ones that help someone govern. "The presidency isn’t a game show, no matter how much some in the media treat it that way." || Related: "Many critics have singled out the September CNN debate as being especially reminiscent of a reality show." (Poynter.org) | Howard Kurtz describes how Fox News staffers "plotted how to trap the candidates" in September debate (The Daily Beast) | "Debates, now growing in number, are having an impact on the media narrative, perhaps because the candidates find themselves in less scripted encounters during these events." (PEJ) | Cain a no-show for New Hampshire Union Leader editorial board meeting (msnbc.com)

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.

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