Thursday, April 17, 2008

ABC Debate Performance was "Shameful"

The reviews are in, last night's ABC debate was disgraceful:

All night long, every time I'd think about the ABC "debate" (sic), three reactions rose up - 1) grind my teeth to an angry pulp, 2) let my head explode, or 3) type something to let the steam out.

This morning, I still can't believe I was able to make it through 45 minutes of the broadcast.

This was topflight journalism at its worst. This was ABC's old, flimsy history with threadbare sizzle packaged as news. It was a tabloid debate with tabloid questions. Matt Drudge come to life on a respectable stage. From what I subsequently discovered, they actually, eventually got around to real issues - after over an hour. But watching it for a mere 45 minutes made me feel almost seedy. I wanted to shower to get the smarm off. I love news, I admire professional journalists, I cherish the Mainstream Media, even when they flounder, because it is the core of democracy. But this was embarrassing. This was pathetic. This was just a cheesy press conference with cheesy questions.

Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos should be ashamed. I'm sure they have all of their reasons wrapped nicely with a bow, explaining why they asked what they asked and why it was proper and good and noble. Sorry, it wasn't. They put this on in prime time across the nation, and turned it into a slimy, Fox Network reality show. A cross between "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?" and "Temptation Island." Something like, "So, You Want to Be President?!"

This was a disservice to America

Here's another view from the Huffington Post:
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. They, and their network, should hang their collective heads in shame.

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 was 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. The travesty continued.

Is Bruce Springsteen Unpatriotic for Endorsing Barack Obama?

Since Barack Obama's patriotism has come into question, shouldn't we then also question the patriotism of those who endorse him:

Bruce Springsteen made his choice for Boss today: Barack Obama.

The rock icon from New Jersey shunned the senator from his neighboring state, and sang out for the man from Illinois in an endorsement on his fan Web site.

"I've been following the campaign and I have now seen and heard enough to know where I stand," Springsteeen wrote to his legions of faithful. "Sen. Obama, in my view, is head and shoulders above the rest."

Celebrity endorsements often don't have much of an impact in political contests, but the backing of a rock legend who is a hero to the working class could actually help in upcoming Pennsylvania, where Clinton's stronghold remains among working people.

"He speaks to the America I've envisioned in my music for the past 35 years," Springsteen writes, "a generous nation with a citizenry willing to tackle nuanced and complex problems, a country that's interested in its collective destiny and in the potential of its gathered spirit. A place where ‘…nobody crowds you, and nobody goes it alone.'"

The endorsement is terrible timing for Clinton with several new polls finding Obama creeping farther ahead, in spite of Obama's "bitter" gaffe that insulted some of those blue-collar folks Clinton has been targeting on small town Main Streets in the Keystone State.

"Critics have tried to diminish Sen. Obama through the exaggeration of certain of his comments and relationships," the Boss says.

And he makes a direct pitch to his millions of fans.

"Over here on E Street, we're proud to support Obama for President."

Below is the letter as it appeared on The Boss' Web site...

Read the entire letter by The Boss endorsing Barack.