Tomorrow night is the first Republican debate of the 2016 presidential campaign season. In years past, primary debates were typically held in the states where primaries were about to be held, sponsored by the local newspaper, and - ostensibly - focused on the issues important to those residing in that state. The big national primaries between the two selected candidates were conducted by the League of Women Voters.
Things have changed quite a bit. On the national level, the League of Women Voters bailed on the process when the two major parties escalated demands to the point where they simply threw up their hands and walked away. On the primary level, things have changed too.
While primaries may have been sponsored by newspapers, the papers at least had a reputation for reporting news on a generally sober level. Their editorial pages may have a slant one way or the other, but fact-based reporting was the norm. That was even the case with network news (pre-cable), back when it was considered a loss-leader rather than a profit center.
Which brings us to the present day.Continue reading...