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Former Romney adviser: GOP debates were 'not serious news events

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Stuart Stevens, chief strategist on Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, says the Republican National Committee's self-critical report gets it right. Particularly when it comes to the GOP presidential primary debates, of which there were 20 in the last election.

The report, released in mid-March, called for "a more rational number of debates."

Stevens wants them entirely overhauled...

He writes in The Daily Beast:

The RNC report recommends cutting the number of debates in half and shortening the debating season. That’s a good start. But I think we should go further. To improve the quality of the debates and eradicate the commercial toxicity tainting the events, news organizations should get out of the business of sponsoring debates.

Let’s don’t kid ourselves. These “debates” have become phony entertainment spectacles not serious news events. ...

In a different era, it might not have mattered if CBS or NBC sponsored a debate. But in today’s hyper competitive economic environment, with every network and cable news channel fighting hand-to-hand for each eyeball, the pressure to tart and hype is irresistible.

@eScarry

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