Debatable? Indeed.

A full-scale, live tele­vi­sion can­di­date debate just may be the pin­na­cle of unscripted yet pre­dictable “real­ity TV,” with a local exam­ple as proof. It was a cir­cus of tamed ani­mals, no clowns.

Illustration of Mark Pryor and Tom Cotton by Shafali Anand. Republished with permission of Talk Business & Politcs

Illus­tra­tion by Shafali Anand.
Cour­tesy of Talk Busi­ness & Politics

On Tues­day, Oct. 14, incum­bent Demo­c­ra­tic U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor faced Repub­li­can U.S. Rep. Tom Cot­ton at a Uni­ver­sity of Arkansas auditorium.

Below are my take­aways. For what hap­pened, see these two thor­ough news articles.

The Fayet­teville Cham­ber of Com­merce spon­sored the debate, the sec­ond of two for this race. The host TV sta­tion was KHBS/KHOG (where I interned in 1978) but two other sta­tions in the state were co-producers, with C-Span deem­ing this impor­tant enough to air live nation­ally on its main chan­nel. The feed can be viewed at the web­site of Lit­tle Rock’s KATV, which has bro­ken the hour-long video into four seg­ments.

The reflec­tions that I first posted dur­ing the debate on Twit­ter and Face­book are in quotes. Oth­ers are Read More


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