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One Debate, Two Very Different Conversations

Linguist Geoff Nunberg has been puzzling over President Obama's performance in the presidential debate last week. Looking at who the candidates were addressing their answers to shows that Romney was doing something unusual, he says.


Oscar Winner Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington directs and stars in the new film The Great Debaters, inspired by the true story of Wiley College's winning debate team of the early 1930s. The film also stars Forest Whitaker.

Actor Denzel Washington

Political analyst John Ellis.

Political analyst John Ellis. Ellis has recently proposed that George Bush and whoever wins the Democratic nomination for president engage each other in a series of nine Sunday night debates in the weeks before the 1992 election. Ellis says this would counteract the trend toward soundbites that have defined recent elections. (Interview by Marty Moss-Coane).


Presidential Candidates in the Ring

TV critic David Bianculli compares the recent Bush/Dukakis presidential debate to a boxing match, filled with verbal jabs. He considers the efficacy of their attacks -- one-liners, put-downs, and pre-written ad-libs -- in highlighting their policy differences.


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