Debate Matters: Update
Tue October 10, 2006 10:44 am

As they say in Congress, I want to revise and extend my remarks about the viewership for the gubernatorial debate last Friday night (scroll down to "Debate Matters").

The Dallas Morning News reports, with considerable self-satisfaction, that the debate drew the highest rating in its time slot in three of the four media markets in which it was shown (Austin, Houston, San Antonio). The exception was Dallas-Fort Worth, where it placed third behind Deal or No Deal and Ghost Whisperer. The article, which did not carry a byline, quoted debate coordinator Mike Devlin as saying, "This was probably the most watched debate in recent history. And all the political dilettantes who predicted that everybody would be at the local high school football games or involved in the Texas-OU weekend were wrong." The story concludes, "Critics had chided Gov. Rick Perry for agreeing to only one televised debate and organizers for holding it on the Friday before the annual college football showdown at the Cotton Bowl."

I don't blame Belo for crowing over the viewership (an estimated 775,000 homes), but the gratuitous defense of Perry is a little strange for a news story.

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