Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Has ABC Killed Presidential Debates?

For the time being, at least, nobody in America, except the desperate Clinton campaign, seems to want a rerun of last week's degrading boobfest.

Today North Carolina Democrats cancelled a scheduled CBS go-round next weekend with unusual political frankness: "While there was great interest in the debate, there were also growing concerns about what another debate would do to party unity."

In the New Yorker, under the title, "Bitter Patter," Hendrik Hertzberg sums up the fiasco:

"Last Wednesday’s two-hour televised smackdown in Philadelphia between the two remaining Democratic candidates for President, which might have been billed as the √Člite Treat v. the Boilermaker Belle, turned into something worse—-something akin to a federal crime. Call it the case of the Walt Disney Company v. People of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (and of the United States, for that matter). Seldom has a large corporation so heedlessly inflicted so much civic damage in such a short space of time."

At the beginning of this interminable campaign, there was my hope that voters might be compensated for the agony by a modern version of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, with candidates getting beyond sound bites to discuss the issues at length.

Silly me. I should have known that, given the gatekeepers of our popular culture today, the candidate exchanges would end up closer to actual biting.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

abc is horrible. it is covering up the facts of 911.wake up you sheep. 911 was an inside job and all these jerks know it but are trying to cover it up throught a controlled media. if you don't know 911 was pulled off by the cia and mossad you are not that smart and need to educate yourself asap. it's all about money anyone that wants to attack iran is a psychotic the biggest threat we face is from our own war machine. false flag terrorism does happen search for yourself

Ben said...

A modern version of the Lincoln-Douglas debates

publius at "Obsidian Wings":

http://obsidianwings.blogs.com...

April 16, 1858 at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

MODERATORS:
CHARLIE GIBSON, ABC NEWS
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC NEWS

MR. GIBSON: So we're going to begin with opening statements, and we had a flip of the coin, and the brief opening statement first from Mr. Lincoln.

LINCOLN: Thank you very much, Charlie and George, and thanks to all in the audience and who are out there. I appear before you today for the purpose of discussing the leading political topics which now agitate the public mind.

We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I’m sorry to interrupt, but do you think Mr. Douglas loves America as much you do?

[...]

- - publius at "Obsidian Wings"