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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-17-08 06:40 PM
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A Pathetic Round of ‘Gotcha’ Questioning
http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/04/17/8346 /

A Pathetic Round of ‘Gotcha’ Questioning
by Jerry Lanson


Let’s cut to the chase: I’ve never seen a worse-moderated presidential debate, a more biased moderator performance, a less intelligent series of questions.

For 45 minutes, the first half of last night’s Democratic presidential debate, ABC’s Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos (Bill Clinton’s old communications guy) double-teamed Barack Obama. Unrelentingly, they asked a succession of questions about this campaign’s not so golden oldies: the beaten-to-death bitter comment, Obama’s pastor, Obama’s relationship with a neighbor who 40 years ago was a radical activist, even the Illinois senator’s penchant for celebrating his patriotism in ways other than parading around in flag-lapel pins.

Someone might just as well have asked: “Senator, are you or were you ever a member of the Communist Party? A sympathizer, perhaps? Because the tenor of the questions at times seemed vaguely reminiscent of the ’50s, the early ’50s when Joseph McCarthy took his communist witch hunt from the State Department to Hollywood.

snip//

Finally, when the script turned to actual policy in the second half, the two moderators sounded a lot more like employees of Fox News than of a neutral network. Would the candidates pledge to never raise taxes? Would they really withdraw troops from Iraq if their generals asked for more time? Would they bomb Iran to protect Israel?

John McCain couldn’t have asked for a friendlier script.

Granted. Reporters get paid to ask tough questions. No complaint there. But they should be tough questions of substance, not rehashed spam. Surely, if ABC’s producers had done some hard reporting, they could have found something fresh — inconsistencies of policy statements over the campaign’s long march, perhaps; contradictions between the candidate’s current stands and past votes; or subtle differences between them on issues that really matter to the American public. Relooping an already weary newsreel, trotting out the tired and really terribly limited fudges and guilt-by-association embarrassments of this campaign, make for neither good debates nor good journalism.

For years now, I’ve grimaced when I see polls showing the persistent downward slope of public trust in the American news media. This Wednesday night, I could hardly blame that public.
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hisownpetard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-17-08 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. K&R.
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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-17-08 07:03 PM
Response to Original message
2. This sentiment was echoed by the Guardian UK, FT, and no less
a Republican than Tom Shales. I am busy hunting down all of the worldwide outrage at the filthy cabal at ABC, and will post when I've collected 20 links or so
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-17-08 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Did you see this thread?
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cjbgreen Donating Member (175 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-17-08 07:25 PM
Response to Original message
4. A Pathetic Round of Gotcha
Even more pathetic was the equating of wearing a flag pin with patriotism. Is this requirement part of our constitution, or educational training? Are all citizens expected to purchase flag pins and wear them? Do all reporters were flag pins? Where do we purchase flag pins, at what age do we begin wearing flag pins. If I wear a flag pin can I vote? Are flag pins just for men? Where do I locate rules for patriotism and flag pins, such as what occasions require flag pins, how many flag pins signify degree of patriotism or even size of pins? I/m not sure if flag tattoos count or symbolize more patriotism or less? I certainly hope that ABC News (whose access to the airwaves is funded by tax payer dollars) will investigate this issue for the voters. I hope their "news team" will also investigate when Germany required patriots to begin wearing swastika's etc.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-17-08 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Good post-I agree completely- and welcome to DU!
This flag pin/patriotism is THE most ridiculous issue I could imagine, what will all the real issues out there that need to be addressed.
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cjbgreen Donating Member (175 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-17-08 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. flag pins
Perhaps we don't need debates in the future, rather we can determine patriotism by using the guidelines set up by some of the recent websites on flag pin rules. ABC News Thank YOU, one more step toward fascism.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-18-08 10:35 AM
Response to Original message
7. Kicked and recommended.
Thanks for the thread, babylonsister.
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