9:05 - We’re watching the presidential debate on CNN, which includes an “Audience Reaction” meter as a permanent chyron on the screen. Per the Reaction-o-Meter, one can track Republican, Democratic, and Independent reaction to the proceedings—via the dips and climbs of red, blue, and green lines, respectively. You can’t help but think of a heart monitor…and, so far, the candidates are flat-lining. Oh, wait: except when Jim Lehrer talks, in which case the lines actually seem to dip.

Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.