Excuse me, but that was not what was advertised by the governor of Mississippi and Mr. Lehrer. We were supposed to have a Lincoln-Douglas type debate; that is what free-format debating is suppose to be. No wonder the debaters weren’t looking at each other, but looking at Mr. Lehrer, who, incidentally was trying to get them to look at each other because that is what you should do when you are in free-format debating.
Free-format debates have a monitor. The purpose and task of the monitor is to present the subject and guard against fist-fights; everything else is ‘free’ and accepted. In free-format debating we chose who is going to be pro and con on each of the subjects that are presented for debate, variations of that allows for each debater to give his position on a ‘given’ subject and each of the debaters take issue with the other person’s point of view.
I am dismayed that the University of Mississippi and Mr. Lehrer missed a golden opportunity to give us a true Lincoln-Douglas type debate.