I’m so glad I missed the Hillary/Obama debate last night. John and I went to see Bill Cosby and for two hours we laughed, and laughed, and laughed some more. From what I read about the supposed debate, and from the snippets I’ve heard on television, the debate was no laughing matter. I think the only good thing that came out of it is that it elicited people’s outrage. Yes, the people were pissed off at the “moderators” for wasting time on ridiculousness and never really getting to any substantive matters. How do I know what the people thought. They posted their outrage in the form of online comments. Here are some excerpts from the abc news web site
hey george and charlie, i cant wait to narrate a debate between you two. Im going to talk to you about your mothers for two hours and half hours. …what does it feel like to have sons that are so far removed from the american mainstream consciousness, a body of people who are literally bleeding for change, that they go on national televison and put on a clown show debate like that one. … Charlie and George whats it feel like to hate america? Do your mothers approve? Posted by: abchatesamerica1 12:50 PM
What a farce! Gibson, Stephanapoulos, and everyone associated with ABC should hang their heads in shame. … Instead of spending all their time dreaming up trivial, demeaning gotcha questions, [they] might make an effort to actually learn something about, you know, issues and might make some small effort to contribute to an informed, rather than a distracted public. Shame on you bozos. Sean McCann
I thought that last night’s debate was the best debate ever held in U.S. history. I thought the lapel pin question was the best question ever asked. You all should be proud of the excellent job you’ve done. Thanks to you, America now has a clearer picture of how these two candidates would make life-affecting descisions if elected. Those soldiers who gave theirs lives so that you have your first amendment rights certainly got their lives’ worth last night! I especially liked Gibson’s question about Capital Gains tax cuts. During the horrible Clinton adminstration, Clinton did these 2 things. 1. Cut Captial Gains Taxes (collected less revenue) and 2. raised taxes (collected more revenue) You don’t have to be an economist to figure that collecting less revenue brought in more revenue that collecting more revenue would EVER bring in. Gahh! My only complaint is that you all neglected the most important issue facing American voters: Obama’s Middle Name. For God’s sake don’t you love America? What were you thinking? His middle name is Hussein! He’s probably murdering your wife right now! Keep up the good work. You should check in with your journalism professors from school, just to give them a chance to congratulate you and take credit for their excellent work. Posted by: Ted Koppel 12:50 PM
And, well, you decide, was this in praise, or in sarcasm? Ted Koppel?
…No more ABC for me. What a joke! Charlie and George need new professions. They were ridiculous. No wonder we can’t get anything meaningful accomplished in this country.
It took me about twenty minutes to realize that what I saw last night was the total meltdown of impartial media moderation of a debate. At 53 years of age, I’ve been around for some time, and watched a fair number of them. … I really wish ABC was running for something, so I could vote against you. Perhaps a total protest boycott is in order. Nightline and This Week? I will never watch them again. How’s that for starters?
You owe America an apology. As a side note, Fox welcomes you to the “we’re a complete joke” club.
Columnists have not been silent, either. Washington Post columnist Tom Shales wrote:
“It was another step downward for network news — in particular ABC News, which hosted the debate from Philadelphia and whose usually dependable anchors, Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, turned in shoddy, despicable performances.”
On the other side, The New York Times ran an opinion piece supporting the ‘moderators’ (“No Whining About the Media” by David Brooks), but the readers are not agreeing. The opinion begins:
“Three quick points on the Democratic debate tonight:
“First, Democrats, and especially Obama supporters, are going to jump all over ABC for the choice of topics: too many gaffe questions, not enough policy questions.
“I understand the complaints, but I thought the questions were excellent. The journalist’s job is to make politicians uncomfortable, to explore evasions, contradictions and vulnerabilities. Almost every question tonight did that. The candidates each looked foolish at times, but that’s their own fault.)”
And The NY Times readers are not buying it. Their comments include:
Are you kidding? The media’s job is not to make politicians uncomfortable — it is to provide substantive information to help citizens make good decisions. Focusing on tabloid-type issues such as whether one of the tens of thousands of people a candidate has associated with has ever said something improper, or on an occasional bungled line, is not what should be happening. ABC’s moderation tonight was disgraceful. — Posted by Nick Berning
David, the job of a journalist is to report the truth, not to “make politicians uncomfortable.” Star magazine does that. — Posted by daniel Kessler
So at least I can be happy that the people are speaking out. Now I will pray that we all take a stand with our checkbooks and make our votes count!