ERIC Number: ED207096
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Feb
Reference Count: 0
The Quality of the 1980 Presidential Forums: A "Revisionist" Position on Presidential Debates.
Ritter, Kurt; Gibson, James
Using preliminary data from studies of the 1980 debates between the presidential candidates, this paper responds to the argument that presidential debates are not debates at all but rather "joint news conferences." The paper first contends that the encounters of the candidates were "real" debates since they conformed to the definition of debate as an event in which two or more advocates present conflicting positions on a proposition in a series of alternating presentations. The paper next analyzes the performance of the members of the press who served as panelists during the debates and concludes that their performance limited the quality of the debates. The paper then suggests that the quality of the debates also suffered because of the restraints on the modes of arguing that are imposed on an incumbent president. (FL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Presidential Candidates; Presidential Debates
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Speech Communication Association (San Jose, CA, February 14-17, 1981).