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Bill vs. Bob

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This is an interesting idea and certainly something I would watch:

    Former President Bill Clinton and his opponent in the 1996 presidential election, Bob Dole, will debate national issues in a series of segments for the CBS newsmagazine “60 Minutes.”

    Clinton and Dole have agreed to tape 10 segments, which will begin airing Sunday night. Their commitment does not extend beyond the end of the current television season, but CBS executives said the network would consider extending the segment next season [AP]

All well and good, but I hope they are talking about tackling very narrow topics based upon this:

    Executive producer Don Hewitt said the planned format calls for one debater to pick a topic and write a 45-second script that would be faxed to his opponent. The response would also be 45 seconds. After the initial arguments, the first debater would get 15 seconds to rebut, followed by a final 15 seconds from the opponent.

    Clinton said he hoped the debate would allow thoughtful commentary.

    “I see this as an opportunity to try to have a really civil debate that enlightens people on the issues,” Clinton told the Times.

    Dole told the Times the two men would “have some fun” while getting into issues roiling the country.

A total of one minute each? I don’t see any major themes being covered with anything more than slogans in one minute. If the topics are sifficiently narrow something can be gleaned, but I hope it is something more than just “fun.”

This format sends my memory fondly back to the days of “Jane, you ignorant slut…”

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