All that was missing from night one of Dem debate two on CNN was a tuxedoed Michael Buffer opening the event with his favorite catchphrase, “Let’s get ready to rumble.” We cover politics the way we cover sports. And then we wonder why our politics have become so ridiculous. It’s not just cable news (although CNN affirmed that the medium is at the core of the problem), the morning-after analysis from print publications was largely focused on landed zingers, who won and who lost, and such critical factors as who got in the most minutes of speaking time. In short, TV treats politics like sports and print increasingly treats politics like TV. For those scoring at home, that’s exactly how we got into this mess. Megan Garber in The Atlantic: CNN Was Ill-Equipped for This. “Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN Worldwide, talks often about his love of sports, and has discussed the ways CNN has incorporated the particular logic of ESPN into its coverage of electoral politics.” (One of the ironies of these debates is that they’ve become the most watched and talked about moments of elections even though they are wholly unrelated to the job. It’s like having a punt, pass, and kick competition to pick a shortstop.)

+ Margaret Sullivan in WaPo: “The worst of Night 1 may have been the format itself, which started with a painfully high-octane video that managed to simultaneously evoke ‘The NFL Today,’ World Wrestling Entertainment, and ‘Jeopardy!’ The debate format is an embarrassment. (If we’re going to focus on the performative aspects of politics, can someone please tell Bernie Sanders that having a microphone means not having to yell.)