Op-Ed: Brief television news coverage of the latest Republican election debate, this time in South Carolina, shown on British news channels appear to show a rowdy verbal brawl that bears no relation to intelligent political debate.
At the heart of the debate free-for-all was rogue but hugely popular GOP candidate Donald J Trump.
The UK has recently followed the USA lead and now stages a handful of election debates but they have received a mixed response.
In 2015 David Cameron opted for a chicken run and managed to stage manage the debates to suit his political aspirations even when he did not take part.
If televised political debates in the UK are to become the norm they need a huge re-think because as they stand they are little more than mind manipulation of the electorate.
As you can probably tell this writer is not a fan of the debates in the UK and opts to use the TV remote to bypass them.
But in the USA they appear to be a long standing tradition.
"The first general election presidential debate was held on September 26, 1960, between U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy, the Democratic nominee, and Vice President Richard Nixon, the Republican nominee, in Chicago at the studios of CBS's WBBM-TV."
The USA is a huge country more like a lot of countries all united, in theory at least. The logistics of elections and campaigning will prove difficult because of this but times have changed.
New technology could and should enable election campaigns to be more slick and intelligent.
But perhaps a political debate that disintegrates into abusive rants makes better TV viewing and keep the audience tuning in.
Last night Trump verbally attacked the brother of Jeb Bush. His brother G W Bush is not popular this side of the Pond but remains something of a GOP hero in the USA. Perhaps those advising Jeb on how to run his campaign got this one right.
The spat included Jeb Bush defending his father in what appeared crazy politics bordering on childish at that.
Trump's criticism that Iraq was a phoney war, WMD were a phoney call and even 9/11 was suspect may ring true with some but not GOP faithful attending the South Carolina debate.
Trump has been the GOP front runner in South Carolina for some time but maybe after Saturday that tide will turn.
More at the Guardian
While USA today has this