As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, April 26, 2007

What Debate?

I sort of half-watched the second part of tonight's Democratic debate, and I have to say that the big winner was the webcast, which played flawlessly. The big loser was America, which once again had to suffer through an incomperehensible debate format that gave people one minute - one minute! - to solve pressing questions facing the nation. And no wonder; we have this instant gratification, sitcom culture that demands everything be solved before the commercial break. You could have had 30 less questions, confined the debate to a couple issues, and let the participants actually debate instead of having to rush through an answer because the clock is ticking.

The American people also had to suffer through Brian "I love Rush Limbaugh" Williams, whose questions consistently reinforced right-wing frames and tried to trap the candidates with gotcha statements. "Quick, the US is hit by a terrorist attack, you have 30 seconds, what would you do! What would you do?" Also, any question that begins with "Tom Friedman wrote about you that..." should be immediately met with "Tom Friedman is the biggest hack in punditry, why should I care what he has to say?"

These candidates are big boys and girls, and they can take it. But the country suffers when the questions and the format are seemingly the opposite of what would generate anything informative. I have no idea who won. I don't even know or remember anything I saw. It was like watching some inoffensive teen sex comedy and laughing the whole time and walking out of the theater and immediately wondering what anybody's name was or what the movie was about.

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