The Presidential debates were the topic on Now with Bill Moyers. His guest was George Farah of Open Debates.
For more info, go to either or both of the above and click your ass off once you're there. There's plenty to see and do, believe me.
The general consensus seems to be that these so-called debates are tightly scripted by contractual agreement between the two parties and are not so much debates as bi-partisan press conferences under the control of the political cartel. Having said that, Mr. Moyers and Mr. Farah said that the debates are still important.
The interesting part was how the League of Women Voters, who used to sponsor these debates, pulled out when the Dems and Reps colluded on this deal in '88. They didn't want to sully their own reputation by being associated with the debate any longer.
I am still hoping for a knock-down, drag-out, bare knuckle slugfest, rough and tumble, no holds barred. I want to see Dubya bleed.