everyone thought the Great Debates of 1960 lived up to their
billing. Here's what a few of the critics said...
were a puny contribution, capsuled, homogenized, perhaps
dangerous in its future implication.and while the instrument
[TV] was used, however superficially, the republic survived
and it is hoped that lessons were learned."
R. Murrow in an address to the
Radio Executives Society
us hope that these TV debates will be eliminated from future
Presidential campaigns..The present formula of TV debate
is designed to corrupt the public judgement, and, eventually,
the whole political process. The American Presidency is
too great an office to be subjected to the indignity of
this technique..On TV each candidate should have the opportunity
to talk about any major issue as long as he has something
to say, without outsiders putting time limits on him."
Henry Steele Commager
in the New York Times Magazine article
"Washington Would Have Lost a TV Debate"
face-to-face encounters, in effect, gave each candidate
150 seconds to tell how he would handle Castro, etc.-a grim
and macabre Truth or Consequences."
"Those Atrocious Television Debates"