The first two debates of the 2012 election cycle have had stratospheric viewership on TV. Critic Bob Mondello isn't surprised. He argues we've spent the last decade training the public to watch contests on television and then vote — think American Idol and Dancing with the Stars.
During the debates, networks all but beg us to kibitz in social media, which makes instant judgment universal. We're encouraged to watch for the purpose of reacting.
Vice President Biden and Republican Paul Ryan at Thursday night's debate.
Credit Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images
You may have noticed that the vice presidential debate took place on the same day as four crucial games in this year's baseball playoffs. In case you were distracted at all by the latter, here's some of what you may have missed:
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Last night's vice presidential debate offered a reminder about American politics. It can be infuriating, misleading and irrelevant, but at its best politics becomes a spectacle - a highly informative show - which is what the vice presidential candidates delivered last night in a debate in Kentucky.