Presidential Debate Comes On Anniversary Of Historic Nixon-Kennedy Clash

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As luck would have it, the first ever presidential debate between a man and a woman falls on the anniversary of the first televised debate, which pitted then-Vice President Richard Nixon against Senator John F. Kennedy.

Although those listening to the first 1960 debate on the radio say that the Republican won, television watchers widely believed the cool, tanned JFK mopped the floor with the sweaty, pasty Nixon. Heather LaMarre, associate professor at Temple University’s School of Media and Communication, says it showed that the medium is the message.

“So, if someone is listening on the radio, versus watching on television, that makes the difference,” she said.

LaMarre says other factors come into play.

“The type of environment in which one watches,” she said, “and the other people in the room when they’re watching, to the mode or actual channel or type of media they’re using to watch it, can influence their perceptions of how well the two candidates are doing.”

And, she says, who seems more presidential.

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