My pen pal, the Hollywood lawyer, said he would like to see moderators who understand their job is "to prompt candidate discussion and generally control that discussion, not to conduct interrogations." That is the traditional role moderators once played, but now that the early debates have been given over to cable news, it is not easy to maintain that standard. Cable news is an arm of show business. It's about personalities, staged drama and lots of shouting. If anyone were serious about having serious debates, we would go old school and round up a panel of smart but colorless newspaper reporters to present informed, dispassionate questions, but that is not going to happen because it would bump the cable news celebrities out of the spotlight and hurt the ratings.