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An Appalling Debate

Imagine being held responsible for the actions of every person you've known.  Imagine applying for a job and as part of that application having to justify the stupid things every person in your life has done and said.  Sounds pretty hard, doesn't it?

Okay, let's make it easier.  Same suppositions, but this time it applies only to your family, your work associates, and the people you consider close friends.  That makes it a bit easier, but not much.  I know that I wouldn't want to have to answer for all the things my family and friends have done.  I love these people, but still, I have enough trouble meeting my own obligations and not making a fool of myself.

But if you watched the Democratic debate on ABC last night, you saw Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos (whose name I now know how to spell) and, of course, Hillary Clinton, trying to impugn Barack Obama's character based on the associations of his past.  Personally, I thought it was ridiculous, and I was appalled by the questions from Gibson and Stephanopoulos that dominated the first hour of the debate.  We are a nation at war.  We face a global environmental crisis.  Our economy is in terrible shape and getting worse by the day.  And Chuck and George are asking questions about lapel pins and whether Obama thinks that Rev. Wright loves America?

Many of those who read this blog don't share my political beliefs.  I think that's great.  We've had some wonderful dialogues in recent weeks and I hope they'll continue.  But I'm wondering if we can't all agree that our political candidates ought to be talking about issues rather than gaffes, about solutions to our problems rather than something that Obama's pastor or Clinton's husband said, or, for that matter, about the "plagiarized" recipes that Cindy McCain posted on the campaign website.  This stuff is meaningless.  It doesn't give health insurance to one child.  It doesn't take a bit of carbon out of the atmosphere.  It doesn't save a single soldier from an IED.  We deserve better than this, and we ought to demand more of the media.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
coppervale
Apr. 17th, 2008 11:19 pm (UTC)
Dead. Right.
davidbcoe
Apr. 18th, 2008 03:48 am (UTC)
Thanks, James.
coppervale
Apr. 18th, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
Here's another (semi-related) discussion I thought you might find of interest:

http://www.greatwhatsit.com/archives/2299
davidbcoe
Apr. 18th, 2008 06:13 pm (UTC)
Interesting piece. Thanks for the link.
(Deleted comment)
davidbcoe
Apr. 18th, 2008 03:49 am (UTC)
Yeah, we expect this crap from Fox, but ABC? CNN? MSNBC? CBS? They ought to know better. Thanks for the comment, Alis.
kmarkhoover
Apr. 18th, 2008 09:50 am (UTC)
Talking about the issues is too difficult. Much easier to jabber on about lapel pins and who you shared an elevator with twenty years ago.

Let's face it. We get both the government, and the journalism, we deserve.
davidbcoe
Apr. 18th, 2008 06:56 pm (UTC)
There's a tautological aspect to all of this. The ABC goons justify their irrelevent questions by saying, "Well, this is what the candidates are going to be asked about in the general election." And then, of course, they ask those questions. It's the worst kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.

But I have the sense that people are more plugged in to the process this year, and maybe if enough people object we can get the media back on track. I would urge people to go to the MoveOn.org website and sign the petition they're sending to ABC. It's a small step, but maybe it's a start.
kmarkhoover
Apr. 18th, 2008 07:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up. I'm gonna head there right now and sign that petition.
jamietr
Apr. 18th, 2008 09:58 am (UTC)
I think my brother-in-law (stubiebrother) said it well the other day: Our media suffers from a condition of news-making, rather than news-reporting.
davidbcoe
Apr. 18th, 2008 07:00 pm (UTC)
True. And they almost have to. We live in the age of the 24 hour news broadcast. They can't sustain interest without priming the pump themselves. God forbid they should use up valuable air time with in-depth, intelligent discussions of actual issues. Who'd want to watch that?

[David raises hand timidly...]
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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