The last week of September 1980, Broadcasting magazine was reporting about the debate about presidential debates (sound familiar?): What follows is an edited excerpt from a story headlined "Debates are debatable," which ran Sept. 29.
"The League of Women Voters' presidential debate series has become mired in the conflicting strategies of the principal candidates. In an effort to keep the series going, the league invited President Carter and Republican Ronald Reagan to a one-on-one debate during the week of Oct. 12 and to a three-way debate, including independent John Anderson (left), the week of Oct. 26.
"Carter, who had boycotted the first debate, in Baltimore, rather than share the platform with Anderson, quickly accepted. So did Anderson. But not Reagan. The Republican candidate is insisting on a series of round-robin debates in which not only he but Anderson would face Carter head-to-head. Carter has rejected that format."