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{Empty title} | The Nation

What started out as an interesting, but too long, presidential campaign, turned into a sham when the networks took over everything, especially the so-called "debates."

I do not watch TV, so missed those and even some that were broadcast on the radio, so perhaps some will think what I say has no standing. I did read and hear enough excerpts to make me feel the way I do.

The biggest problem was allowing the debates to be run by the media corporations who have, I believe, different interests than the public. By their power to include or exclude, they create their own primary. By excluding certain candidates from the debates and giving them little press, they chose who the candidates will be.

They turned the campaign into a popularity contest, discussing policy only when they felt they needed a tiny bit of substance. For the most part, the moderators were awful, their questions without merit. From what I saw and heard, all the debates seemed more about the interviewers themselves, then the candidates and their ideas.

It appears to me that they wanted to make sure that Hillary and Obama were the finalists because, with them, the Republicans would have a better chance of winning the presidency. This seems especially true in the recent ABC fiasco.

One wonders where we are going as a country when people like David Brooks give ABC an A for the last debate, Hillary a B and Obama a D.