Wednesday, April 16, 2008

ABC's Fight Night

ABC's management of tonight's Democratic debate reminds me why I watch so little television. This debate was a travesty: billed as "Clinton vs Obama" and (at least online) "Fight Night," it was an exercise in badgering and baiting on the part of moderators Charles Gibson and George Stephanopolous. With all the urgent issues facing the country, Gibson and Stephanopolous spent close to one hour (of two) on shallow distractions and absurdities — flag lapel pins, quantitative analysis of other people's patriotism, the Weather Underground, and the question of whether each candidate would promise to choose the other as a running mate. Afghanistan? Education? Energy? Food prices? Housing? Mortgages? Torture? The unitary executive? Veterans' well-being? Not a single question. Audience members seemed to be jeering Gibson at debate's end. Good on them.

And having George Stephanopolous — from Bill Clinton's White House! — co-moderate a debate that involves the boss's wife: my mind boggles. Pass the Crown Royal.

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