Preview of the First Presidential Debate

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As Kerry and Bush prepare for tomorrow night's first crucial confrontation, the broadcast and cable networks say they won't play by the rules. They say a 32-page memo that limits camera angles and reaction shots, and details the paper candidates can take notes on and the temperature of the room, comprises an intrusion on journalistic standards. Will tomorrow night's first confrontation lack all spontaneity? Will voters learn anything they didn't already know? Warren Olney joins political correspondents, experts on politics and the media, and an advocate of reforming presidential debates for a consideration of whether the result will be a genuine exchange of views or sound-bite parodies of democratic dialogue.
  • Making News: PM Blair Regrets Iraq War, British Hostage Appeals Again
    As Italy celebrated the return of two women hostages in Iraq, Britain is looking at pictures of Kenneth Bigley, crouched behind bars and begging Prime Minister Tony Blair to save him. Blair is having problems of another kind at the Labor Party's annual conference in Brighton. Michael White, political editor of The Guardian, has an update on both.
  • Reporter's Notebook: SpaceShipOne Flies into Space above the Mojave
    The little craft called SpaceShipOne officially made it to outer space today, but not until after it corkscrewed as many as 20 times, creating about 16 heart-stopping seconds for a large crowd on the ground. After safely gliding back to a landing in the Mojave Desert, pilot Mike Melvill said he'd never do it again. George Whiteside, executive director of the National Space Society, was on the scene for today's take-off and landing.

Labour Party conference

White's article on Blair's justification for war

Guardian article on Bigley's appeal

Commission on Presidential Debates

Kerry campaign

Bush campaign

Tumulty's article on debate strategies


X Prize



Warren Olney