Karl Rove: ‘Debates transfer power to the media, draining it from the campaigns’

By Alex Weprin 

Former George W. Bush staffer and current Fox News contributor Karl Rove has written an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today focusing on Donald Trump and televised debates. Rove has mixed opinions on debates. On the one hand, it gets the views of candidates in front of millions of eyeballs. On the other hand:

This also needs to be said: What we’re watching are not really debates. They are seven- or eight-person news conferences. Their choppy nature makes cogent argument difficult and thoughtful policy discussion almost nonexistent. There’s a premium placed on memorable sound bites and snappy comebacks. Those are the clips that are endlessly replayed.

Debates transfer power to the media, draining it from the campaigns. Moderators and their news organizations—through questions they frame or select—have more impact than candidates on what’s covered and discussed. Because each debate is a lavish feast of comments and confrontations, the media also decide what aspects are most worthy of post-debate coverage.

What do you think, are debates informative? Who controls the narrative, the candidates or the media? Let us know in the comments.