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Inside the Presidential Debates with Newton Minow

Newton Minow is co-vice chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, which has organized the debates for the last two decades. Minow looks into the origins of presidential debates and suggests how they could be improved today.

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Newton Minow was appointed by President John F. Kennedy as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission in 1961. Minow famously dubbed television a “vast wasteland” and called for programming reforms to better serve the public interest. He is a former law partner of Adlai Stevenson II, was chairman of PBS, and co-chair of the presidential debates in 1976 and 1980. He is currently co-vice chair of the Commission on Presidential Debates, which has organized the debates for the last two decades. Minow’s book, written with longtime collaborator Craig LaMay, Inside the Presidential Debates: Their Improbable Past and Promising Future, looks into the origins of presidential debates with suggestions for their improvement today.

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Recorded Sunday, May 13, 2012 at the Adlai Stevenson Center on Democracy.

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