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How the Democratic Debates Narrow the Field

How the Democratic Debates Narrow the Field

Update: 2019-08-0239
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Twenty Democratic presidential candidates have appeared on the debate stage for the last time. That’s in part because the Democratic National Committee has introduced a set of rules explicitly designed to narrow the field. We look at the intended and unintended consequences of that change. Guest: Reid J. Epstein, a political reporter for The New York Times. For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily

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Comments (1)

Gene

Cable news networks think they can make the show more interesting by mindlessly inject conflict between candidates, however, that design is based on a very skewed understanding of storytelling. Story can only be propelled by conflict, but there are really three levels of conflict: internal (one person has conflicting desires), interpersonal (people and people disagree), extra-personal (people against institution/force of nature). The debate looks like reality TV because CNN focused only on inciting interpersonal conflict, when they should've introduced the other two levels as well. More importantly, the purpose of conflict is to force characters to make difficult choices. If candidates don't have to make difficult political decisions, then we essentially never see their true nature. We may still be able to see it (Biden shifting stances when confronted by Harris) but that is nowhere near enough.

Aug 2nd
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How the Democratic Debates Narrow the Field

How the Democratic Debates Narrow the Field