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Thats a valid theory, but only going back to the dawn of TV/Radio. Before that politicians actually had to have some content in their messages.

for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln%E2%80%93Douglas_debates

The format for each debate was: one candidate spoke for 60 minutes, then the other candidate spoke for 90 minutes, and then the first candidate was allowed a 30-minute "rejoinder." The candidates alternated speaking first. As the incumbent, Douglas spoke first in four of the debates.

Those were 3 hour debates. Now all a politician has to do is look good holding a football.

(this is basically paraphrasing Neil Postman's work from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amusing_Ourselves_to_Death)

There's a good book on this subject from 1985, where the author explores how the requirement in politics is no longer real action/results it's entertainment.

Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business


Well I mean it's a joke today... the fiscal cliff wasn't mentioned in any of the debates.

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