Megyn Kelly but No Donald Trump at Fox News Forum

22 February 2016
Jennifer Harper

As mentioned previously, the tenth Republican debate looms on Thursday hosted by CNN and Telemundo, moderated by Wolf Blitzer, and staged at the University of Houston in Texas. But there are complaints. Some say entertainment outweighs policy information: Robert Rosenkranz ‘ founder of Open to Debate formerly known as Intelligence Squared U.S., an organization that has staged 117 public policy debates ‘ counsels that things must change.

‘Prime-time presidential debates were a brilliant innovation of the 1960s, meant to inform voters and let them see the candidates in action. Their format, however, is due for an update,’ Mr. Rosenkranz wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Monday, with co-author John Donvan, former White House correspondent for ABC News. ‘These debates tell voters almost nothing that can’t be gathered from 30-second campaign ads. There is no time for depth, no payoff for nuance, no serious discussion of policy.’

The two urge the Commission on Presidential Debates to adopt an Oxford-style debate  no trick questions, no memorized talking points ‘disguised as answers,’ and candidates who actually debate each other. They also cite the sterling example set by the seven Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858 which cast challenger Abraham Lincoln against incumbent Stephen A. Douglas for the U.S. Senate seat in Illinois.

‘We need a format that is more Lincoln-Douglas, less reality TV, explained Mssrs. Rosenkranz and Donvan.