of Women Voters Yanks Support of Debate: 'Manipulations' by
Post, Oct. 4, 1988; A15; By Lloyd Grove
of 1976, 1980, and 1984 presidential debates, the League
of Women Voters, in 1988 the League of Women Voters decided
not to sponsor the second presidential debate. The LWV
considered itself to be an objective third party in the
negotiating of debate formats. According to the article,
"the League's board of trustees voted during the weekend
to pull out of the Los Angeles debate because the Bush
and Dukakis camp refused to renegotiate the terms of their
agreement - the result of weeks of arduous talks - with
League representatives." The LWV's withdrawal opened the
door for the Commission on Presidential Debates, which
has sponsored the presidential debates ever since.
Bags a Quayle"
Post, Oct. 9, 1988; By Mary McGrory
McGrory described the memorable moment in the vice-presidential
debate when Lloyd Bentsen, Michael Dukakis' running mate,
and Dan Quayle, George Bush's running mate. As McGrory
describes the episode, after Quayle compared himself politically
with John F. Kennedy, "Bentsen rounded on him, drew and
fired-right between the eyes. 'Senator,' he began in quiet,
deadly tones, 'I knew Jack Kennedy. I served with him.
He was my friend. Senator, you are no Jack Kennedy.'"
Although vice-presidential debates usually lack the importance
of presidential debates, these bit of drama boosted Bentsen
and even may have helped the image of Dukakis, who in
comparison was seen lacking any sort of fiery emotion.
If He Only Had a Heart: His Video-Image Scorecard - Brains
10, Warmth 0
Post, Oct. 9, 1988; D01; By Lloyd Grove
article addresses Dukakis' supposed image problem. Dukakis,
a first generation ethnic American whose parents were
from Greece, was very stiff in is non-verbal communication.
This contributed to the perception that Dukakis lacked
warmth and emotion. Although Dukakis was considered quite
verbally fluent Lloyd wrote, "But the Dukakis repertoire
of nonverbal behavior, the medium through which primates
telegraph their emotions and signal their attitudes of
dominance of submission, is better suited for poker-playing
than inspiring a nation." Interestingly enough, according
to a poll cited in the article, Dukakis came across to
the viewers as more substantive and honest, yet, the viewers
thought that Bush appeared to be the "more presidential"
of the two candidates.
Debate Reactions in Real Time"
Post, Oct. 12, 1988; By Marlene Schwartz and Lloyd
brief article describes the "Tell-Back" system, a device
that enabled viewers of the 1988 debates to immediately
respond to the candidates as they debated one another.
A bar on the bottom of the screen represented "the average
audience response that will slide back and forth between
Bush and Dukakis at the bottom of home screens."
Questioners Three Women"
Post, Oct. 12, 1988; A14; By Marlene Schwartz and
panel for the second presidential debate between Bush
and Dukakis featured all women. There were Ann Compton
of ABC News, Andrea Mitchell of NBC News, and Margaret
Warner of Newsweek. The moderator was Bernard Shaw of
CNN. Dan Rather of CBS News declined to participate.
Blunt Edge: Anchor Bernard Shaw, Asking Tough Questions and
Pushing His Network Ahead"
Post, Oct. 25, 1988; C01; By Tom Shales
profile of CNN anchorman Bernard Shaw seems to have come
about as a consequence of Shaw's stint as moderator for
the second presidential debate between George H. Bush
and Michael Dukakis. Shaw asked this question of Dukakis,
an opponent of the death penalty: Would he [Dukakis] change
his mind if it were his own wife [Kitty Dukaki] who was
"raped and murdered." Of George Bush, Shaw asked if he
would have confidence in his vice presidential pick Dan
Quayle if he were to die before the inauguration. Tough
questioning became more and more commonplace in the 1980's
and 1990's. Bill Clinton answered questions about what
kind of underwear he wore. It would be hard to imagine
a similar question being asked of John F. Kennedy, Richard
Nixon, or even Ronald Reagan. Shaw defended his questions
by telling Shales, "Many voters perceive seeing and hearing
Dukakis but not feeling him. I asked that question to
see if there was feeling."
Uselessness of Debates"
Post, Sept. 11, 1988; C07; By George F. Will
George F. Will sounded off on the benefit of presidential
debates, noting that debates are "Tossed salads of brevity,"
more "parallel press conferences" rather than debates,
and "primarily the regurgitation of market-tested paragraphs."