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Lecturer Lessenberry comments on voters' attention spans related to U.S. elections...
The Toronto Star
"U.S. election: America’s shrinking attention span limits race to the latest bite-size sound bites"
by Mitch Potter
For 18 months, it has gone on and on and on. Now the battle for the White House is shrinking to a pinhead — just 180 minutes is all. Such are the spiraling stakes of the two final presidential debates on Tuesday in Hempstead, N.Y., and another 90 next Monday in Boca Raton, Fla. Eighteen months versus 180 minutes. And what does it say about America’s political attention span? Not anything good, according to media analyst Jack Lessenberry, who tracks election coverage at Michigan’s Wayne State University school of journalism. Lessenberry likens the shrinking retentiveness of the average American voter to that of “a six-week old puppy.” “People talk about a media conspiracy. But what’s really happening in this election is an accidental conspiracy — (the media) want this to be a three-act play,” he told the Star. “Because the alternative is a race where nothing changes, which would be tremendously boring for cable news.