NEWSWATCH by Thomas Griffith: When Both Sides Punted a Lot

Now that the absorbing but unsatisfying televised debates are all over, it can be seen that they took on an undue burden because there was so little else in the campaign on which to make a judgment. Perhaps this accounts for how little sympathy the press and the public gave to the nervous participants. Even the setting made the candidates look like men in the dock, or like those carnival games in which you throw baseballs at a head sticking out of a hole.

As part of television's great fall season of sports and entertainment, the debates were also a...

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