Thursday, December 13, 2007

Iowa Repub Debate a Dud Because They Discussed Issues?

I tend to be in a lone minority where popular consensus is concerned. While Chris Matthews sputtered and spewed his venom about how "boring" the debate was (there were no fireworks or jabs at another candidate, he lamented), I thought it was controlled, focused and strictly presented. If we want to see a sparring match we can watch WWF. For an interesting look at the history of Presidential debates, go to PBS (I couldn't create the link for some strange reason - put debates in the search bar on the PBS site). I'd like to know who the decider was/is who determined which candidate will be invited to attend which debate. Ralph Nader wasn't invited in 2000, Alan Keyes (I'll reserve my epithets) was invited to the Republican debate yesterday, and today's Democratic debate, neither Dennis Kucinich nor Mike Gravel was invited. This -- in the land of free speech. So, PBS has its issues, too. However, negatives aside, I believe PBS acquitted itself relatively nicely.

So the moderator was sober. That's PBS. That's journalism. If anything, it shows the difference between "newstainment" and "straight news." I do think the raising hands issues was a little parochial and unnecessary, but it also gave us an opportunity to see how the candidates reacted. Some touted that Thompson's refusal to raise his hand made him look Presidential. If we go on looks, sure he's tall, but I rarely hear him say anything substantive. But maybe that's his style. I have the same issue with Obama. I don't know where he stands on most issues, except that he will give us change.

PBS is neutral because it tries to represent the issues. There may be a liberal slant, I'll admit, but it doesn't hit us over the head, like Fox TV, MSNBC and CNN, who mudsling about each other on air. Has cable news really come to this? The more I watch Cable News, the closer I'm drifting to terrestrial news - maybe 1/2 hour per day of news is enough. And I can stop writing to myself!

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