Here are two paragraphs from the following opinion article:
Save 'genuine' presidential debates
By George Farah
WASHINGTON – Since 1988, the general election presidential debates have been controlled by a private corporation - the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) - that has deceptively served the interests of the Republican and Democratic parties at the expense of the American people. And for the first time in 16 years, there is a vigorous, organized effort to return control of the presidential debates to a genuinely nonpartisan champion of voter education.
The consequences of such deceptive major-party control are predictable and distressing. Candidates that voters want to see are often excluded from the general election presidential debates, such as Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, and Pat Buchanan. Issues the American people want to hear about - such as free trade, government waste, child poverty, and immigration - are often ignored. And the debates have been reduced to a series of glorified bipartisan news conferences, in which the Republican and Democratic candidates merely recite prepackaged soundbites to fit 90-second response slots. Walter Cronkite, who served as a panelist for a 1960 presidential debate, called the CPD-sponsored debates an "unconscionable fraud" and accused the major party candidates of "sabotaging the electoral process." Accordingly, debate viewership has plummeted; 25 million fewer people watched the 2000 presidential debates than watched the 1992 presidential debates.