The Ultimate in Reality TV

Flaws and All, Presidential Debates are a Healthy Part of the Job Interview

The bell rang for Round 10, as CNBC hosted its Republican candidate debate on Wednesday. The financial network (and Herman Cain!) hoped to focus the discussion on economic issues.

Nowhere is the dubious power of visual media in politics more apparent than in presidential debates. On the one hand, the debates recreate a public square, as they remain the only moments in a campaign when large numbers of voters focus in simultaneously on the election. Even at a time when mass audiences are shrinking as entertainment and information sources multiply, Americans …