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What the Rest of the World Saw During the Final Presidential Debate What the Rest of the World Saw During the Final Presidential Debate

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Politics / CAMPAIGN 2012

What the Rest of the World Saw During the Final Presidential Debate

Two statuettes depicting President Barack Obama, left, and Republican rival Mitt Romney are backdropped by the Stars and Stripes in a shop which sells Christmas creche figures in Naples, Italy, Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, hours ahead of their third and final presidential debate in Boca Raton, Florida.(AP Photo/Salvatore Laporta)

In Canada, they live-blogged. Same thing across the pond in Great Britain. Ditto in Italy and Israel. In France, they dubbed the debate with the dulcet tones of the French language. Al Jazeera English watched and reported on the debate in real time. The Times of India had a story on its website before 7 a.m. India Standard Time.

On a night when President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney turned their focus to foreign policy in ther final debate, media around the globe reciprocated, turning their attention to the debate.

The Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail embedded a real-time live blog with comments from expat Canadians living in the United States as well as from the paper’s reporters.

 

“It's tough to have a lot of daylight on foreign policy. The U.S. changes its foreign policy very slowly, and there is much continuity from administration to administration," said Jeff Gebhart, one of the “expat Canadians.”

In Great Britain, the Guardian streamed the debate live on its website and supplemented its coverage with a live blog by Richard Adams.

Adams quoted the Guardian’s Ewan MacAskill, reporting from the debate's location in Boca Raton, Fla., who said two-thirds through the debate that Obama was winning.

“Foreign and security policy is always easier for a president, given that he deals with it daily, briefed by intelligence analysts, generals and diplomats. Although Romney has been receiving intelligence briefings since last month, it is not the same. Romney sounds like someone trying to remember their study notes,” MacAskill said.

Haaretz’s chief U.S. correspondent, Natasha Mozgovaya, tweeted during the debate, highlighting when Israel was mentioned.

Her colleague Chemi Shalev summed up the debate as if it were a movie or boxing match. “No bloodshed, no injuries, no fatalities; people may think debate was boring,” Shalev wrote.

As part of its coverage, Al Jazaeera English hosted a live blog on its site that included interviews with immigrants to the U.S. from six Middle Eastern countries. “See what immigrants to the US from Palestine, Sudan, Egypt, Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan have to say about Obama's foreign policy over the last four years in an Al Jazeera interactive here,” Al Jazeera staff wrote.

The French newspaper Le Monde live streamed the debate with French dubbing, while the large Italian daily newspaper and website Corriere Della Sera covered the debate with a live blog powered by Twitter.

Xinhua’s English-language page took a minimalist approach to covering the debate. “The face-off in Lynn University in Boca Raton of Florida could turn out consequential in a very tight race as latest polls show the duo neck-and-neck among likely voters,” the agency reported in a news story of less than 200 words before the debate’s end.

The BBC turned over its homepage to the debate. It also included a live stream and a feature it called “live text,” which was a mix of transcription from the candidates and analysis from two reporters.

Fars News and the Tehran Times, English-language sites that cover Iran, did not publish stories on the debate on their homepages. 

While some international news sites focused coverage on Monday's debate, Russia Today wagged its finger at America with a prominent promotion of its coverage plans for a third-party debate on Tuesday in Chicago between libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein.

“In response to widespread blackout from both the mainstream media and political establishment alike, RT is honored to be presenting a platform for the major third-party candidates also vying for the White House this election year to debate,” the English-language site reported.

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