|NEW YORK In perhaps the most embarrassing performance by the media in a major presidential debate in years, ABC News hosts Charles Gibson and George Stephanopolous focused mainly on trivial issues as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama faced off in Philadelphia.|
Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the health care and mortgage crises, the overall state of the economy and dozens of other pressing issues had to wait for their few moments in the sun as Obama was pressed to explain his recent "bitter" gaffe and relationship with Rev. Wright (seemingly a dead issue) and not wearing a flag pin while Clinton had to answer again for her Bosnia trip exaggerations.
Then it was back to Obama to defend his slim association with a former '60s radical -- a question that came out of rightwing talk radio and Sean Hannity on TV, but delivered by former Bill Clinton aide Stephanopolous. This approach led to a claim that Clinton's husband pardoned two other '60s radicals. And so on.
More time was spent on all of this than segments on getting out of Iraq and keeping people from losing their homes and other key issues. Gibson only got excited when he complained about anyone daring to raise taxes on his capital gains.
Yet neither candidate had the courage to ask the moderators to turn to those far more important issues. But some in the crowd did -- booing Gibson near the end.
To top it off, here is David Brooks' review at The New York Times: "I thought the questions were excellent." He gave ABC an "A."
Ah, moderate conservative Brooks liked it so it had to be bad. This is how short-sighted leftists are when it comes to debates. You can either have Clinton and Obama who on issues are nothing by small variations apart which means all you get are stump speech answers making a very boring debate ala the CNN version in Hollywood a couple of months back. The other way is to bring up the controversial stuff which shows if either one can fight back against it. Obama failed and Hillary at this point people finally have pegged her as a shameless liar.
What do you want to know about Iraq from either one? Black Jesus wants to surrender and Hillary too. Health care? Both want socialist universal system and on taxes soak anyone making making and hand out more welfare checks. Immigration? Open borders please. Everything in a nutshell.
You think Mitchell would say the same if Republicans were in the debate? No, what is pissing him and other leftists like Keith Olbermann off is Black Jesus got caught and was flat footed in the debate.
More liberal whining from Will Bunch.
|Basically an alarming new standard has been set in this election: The media is going to create a lot of inane, distracting issues in this campaign, and so here is the new test to become commander-in-chief in 2008: How well will you respond to the heat from our phony topics that we all agree will dominate our news coverage, whether anyone else really cares about them or not?|
Just shoot me. Brooks awards an "A" to ABC's coverage, by the way.
Meanwhile, for some more inciteful reviews of the debate moderators, check out Tom Shales in the Washington Post, Slate's Walter Shapiro, Niall Stanage in the Guardian (the Brits think that we've completely lost it, as you might expect), and Josh Marshall over on Talking Points Memo.
Inciteful reviews from fellow leftists including the CIF guy who if Bunch had a clue would realize the majority of stuff written on there is for amusement only. Citing it just shows that air of internationalist liberals have as if some twit's opinion on CIF carries some weight.