The nation is made to gather around their television sets and watched a highly staged performance which will be judged by people that have an interesting in maintaining the circus atmosphere. There is no sense to the questions often asked. For example, a candidate may have to talk about a recent scandal where he said a word that offended someone, but his record of voting for bills that have killed people goes unquestioned. It is a slur against the meaning of debate.
The debate process is flawed because it is completely based on money. The people allowed into the debate are candidates who are currently polling high, and this is always proportional to how much they spend. Until we can reform campaign finance the debate system will be broken as well. They are intertwined.
The current Presidential debates on the GOP side are nothing more than glorified Jerry Springer episodes, minus the thrown chairs and vulgarity. They have been no more than a miserable collection of ad hom attacks and mud slinging with no substance. Add in the number of debates and it becomes terribly obvious the stations broadcasting these abominations are more worried about revenue and ratings.
The American presidential debates are often hosted by cable news channels that run the risk of being biased and pushing their own agendas. Fox news and MSNBC have corporate sponsors to consider, many of whom also contribute to campaigns of individuals running for president. Debates should be held on neutral ground and hosted by a non-commercial collective.