"91 Million Viewers Flock To Final Debate"

Washington Post, Oct. 21, 1992; B01. By John Carmody  

In this television column, Carmody reported that more than 91 million people watched the final presidential debate between Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Ross Perot. This figure takes into account all three major networks, PBS, CNN, and FOX.


"The Left-Out Libertarian: Andre Marrou: In the Running but Out of the Debates"

Washington Post, Oct. 19, 1992; B01. By Jonathan Freedland  

This article profiles Andre Marrou, who ran for president in 1992 as the Libertarian candidate. Like Ross Perot, the Reform Party candidate who participated in the presidential debates along with Clinton and Bush, Marrou was on the ballot in all fifty states. Nonetheless, Marrou was excluded. According to the Commission on Presidential Debates, this decision was made because "only candidates who have a serious chance of winning" were invited. As a Libertarian, Marrou advocated "unfettered personal freedom and the reduction of government" to minimum.


"People's Debate Produced Relentlessly Substantive Exchange"

Washington Post, Oct. 17, 1992; A11; By Howard Kurtz  

The author reviews the "first presidential debate ever to use a town-meeting format," which occurred between Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Ross Perot. This format featured questions from ordinary citizens in the studio audience rather than from a panel of professional journalists, as had been the precedent. Kurtz notes that the format resulted in an unusually "substantive" debate because the audience members were not interested in the negative protrayals of the candidates.


"Bush's Demeanor Raises GOP Concern"

Washington Post, Oct. 17, 1992; A01  


"Ringside Scores and Spinners: Pundits, Press Favor Pugilistic Metaphors in Analyzing Data"

Washington Post, Oct. 13, 1992; A10. By Howard Kurtz  

In this piece of commentary, Kurtz took a look at the language of political pundits and spin doctors, noting that "[t]he media debate that follows a presidential debate often shapes perceptions of who 'won' and 'lost'." He cites a number of "pundits," professional analysts of politics, and "spindoctors," those political people who try to shape the public's perceptions of a candidate. The problem, Kurtz, is that substance loses out: "The debate was treated as a sporting event, all clutch performances and instant replays."


"The Big Picture? It's Debatable"

Washington Post, Oct. 12, 1992; D01. By Tom Shales  

Tom Shales reviews the first presidential debate between Bill Clinton, George Bush, and Ross Perot. Notes Shales, "George Bush won by not losing. Bill Clinton lost by not winning. And Ross Perot came through with the comic relief, sort of like Gabby Hayes in an old Roy Rogers western." Overall, Shales found the debate rather unspectacular, with none of the candidates, with the possible exception of Perot, proving to be particularly engaging.