Last night, I had an important decision to make: I could either go out to a local pizza place for some trivia and a friend’s birthday celebration, or I could stay home, curl up with a cup of [insert comforting drink of choice] here and a notepad, and watch the Obama-Clinton debate. I opted for the birthday celebration, and apparently I made the right decision.
Making my way through various blogs, news reports, and web videos, I quickly learned that the event last night wasn’t a debate, so much as it was an exhibition in political hackery–and for the most part, I’m not talking about the candidates. Moderators Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos presented nit-picky, tabloid-derived questions, focused not on the issues but on all the controversy that has cropped up in the media–this lasted for the first 45 minutes of the broadcast. For more information, you can click here for a news article from the AP.
If you want to see the event for yourself, here’s the link for the YouTube video of the debate.
It’s really upsetting to see professional newscasters stoop to an elevation matched only by Death Valley in its depth, and Spin Alley in its shallowness. I would expect something like this in the op-ed pages of any newspaper in America, but to pass this joke line of questioning off as debate? I’m not buying it–not for a minute.
I really just can’t wait until we convert to a system where TV and the Internet are more closely linked when it comes to debates. Overall, I believe that this would provide more revision and oversight of the questions being asked of the candidates and, ideally, would allow a higher flow of information traveling in both directions. It seems essential and obvious that, in order to get a change in our politics, we have to have a change in how we discuss our politics.
Enough gibberish. Follow the links, do some searching, and see what you think.