MSNBC: Dumming Down Dem Debates

by Binx101 – San Jose, CA-27 Feb 08 –

MSNBC - Debate - Clinton_Obama

Brian Williams and Tim Russert presided over, what is hopefully, the last debate for a while. Far be it from us to discount the value of watching potential Presidents debating in action; however, the questions developed by the moderators were derived entirely from the campaign rhetoric without any probative value.Obama_Clinton If one follows the campaigns, one already knew the nominees responses. So? what was the point? Was it to see how well they would do their lines? With all due respect – crazy Uncle Nunzio could have come up with the same questions. Here’s some we heard last night:

“Eh, how about the picture in his pajamas !!!”

“Oh, now tell him shame on you to his face !!”

“Kid, you really think you got as much experience as the nice lady?”

“When we went on strike, my wife Rosa, rest her soul, taught the other wives in the local how to prepare for the strike and then how to get through it. Everyone recognized her as amazing. Do you think she could drive a locomotive?”

“Fahgettabowdit, what’s with the insurance talk What happened to health-care? All you they talk about is coverage. Didn’t you guys go to school? In the insurance racket – someone has got to lose, but its never the company. Aren’t enough of us losing now ?? How in God’s name did you convert this issue to insurance? We need a health-care for people who work hard. Charge them for the health-care they use – forget about insurance!!!”

About this time, we encourage Uncle Nunzio to go back to his room and listen to a little Julius La Rosa. Plus the fact that striped sweater that the kids bought him for Christmas makes him look like he’s on a chain gang – but don’t confuse crazy with stupid.

So Tim Russert, using Al Jolson hands sans white gloves, repeats himself, russert_debate1.jpgurging the candidate to commit to something, even if its irrelevant.

Wouldn’t you have been blown away if he asked the Uncle Nunzio insurance / health-care question? Maybe asked Barack to elaborate on the Rezko matter?


Brian Williams, certainly he’s a nice guy too, but he causes spontaneous narcolepsy when he takes 50 seconds to ask a 3 second question. Another fan of Jolson hands,williams_debate he has to tell us that he’s going to read something and then read it. Didn’t anyone tell these guys that they are on television? We can see them reading. This isn’t a 1927 radio broadcast.

Then there is the debate coverage analysis which should more appropriately be aimed towards analyzing the moderators and how they squandered a perfect opportunity to ask two very bright and capable candidates questions that weren’t memorized – the way kids know the remaining candy in the big bowl a week after Halloween.

Frankly, form our perspective, we’ve learned a lot more from listening to the Senators Clinton and Obama speak to crowds or one-on-one interviews than any of the debates have provided. The silly semantics involving Louis Farrakhan’s endorsement of Obama were a waste of time and revealing about some of Clinton’s experiences. It reminded us of the airplay that “the definition of is” got for Bill Clinton just over a decade ago. Obviously, Hillary beginning to see a waning of the Black support she had previously commanded would pipe up in some manner – it just didn’t seem relevant to incredible opportunity to ask these two candidates revealing questions of principle, rule-of-law, immunity, our military preparedness, States rights, the Supreme Court etc… How about what they would be looking for in Cabinet choices? Attorney General? Joint Chiefs?

Perhaps it’s just us – we wanted to hear something new. We don’t need to hear from the NBC News-talkers – we wanted to hear responses to well thought out intellectually stimulating questions. What we got was debate for dummies, largely because of the moderators. The Candidates are clearly intellectually capable – the moderators seem to be either terribly scripted, constrained by management or simply less than imaginative. As far as we’re concerned – leave the millionaire talking heads to sell soap powder and provide some depth next time. Please?


11 Responses

  1. I agree but CNN and Wolf Blitzer takes the cake imo.

  2. Well, there’s plenty of room on the dum-dum train for the list. Maybe we’ll have a contest.

  3. Who needs overpaid moderators at a softball game? I would rather have a real debate where the participants ask their own questions to each other. The first person who speaks/interupts/talks when it’s not their turn, automatically looses, has to leave the stage and forfeiting the remaining air time to the winner? A boxing referee, a timer and a whistle is all that’s needed.

    If the network absolutely insists on a 3rd party moderator, bring in Howard Stern.

  4. I’m really starting to like Uncle Nunzio

  5. Very well put. This is an outrage to have entertainers posing as journalists. Russert has been very disappointing. The Al Jolson hands comment is very descriptive – its comical how Russert makes things up. Brian Williams is , well, Brian Williams a guy wearing a suit on the train.

  6. I didn’t get a chance to see the debate yesterday and just watched it. I read your article first and started to laugh my butt off when the ‘hands’ started. It does seem like they just make stuff up too. Westwave was right, softball, I like his idea too.

  7. In the matter of Russert making things up, one of the most egregious examples is when he was hurling hypotheticals. Paraphrasing: He asked Hillary (who nailed him on it) Okay, Americans leave Iraq and as Petraeus has indicated, Al Qaeda takes control – will you bring back…. ? Hillary says, wait that’s a hypothetical – Russert recoils, oh no its fact – Hillary returns fire again and says “NO it’s not!”

    So where in blazes does Russert get his Kool-Ade?? Amazing how he revealed, accidentally I’m sure, where he stands intellectually on these issues. Its enough to void his contract if I were the NBC News President.

    This stuff just oozes into the atmosphere and further soaks into the minds of people as though his fiction – total fiction – is fact.

  8. I just thought if I kept up with MSNBC,FXNWS and CNN that I would get an over view on the 3
    people that I believe still has a chance. IT seems to me that I get clobbered (if there is such a word) with Hillary and Obama every single night and that McCain is floating out there as if he is unknown. IS it just me that this is only a debate between Clinton and Obama as if they are the only 2 remaining?

  9. McCain gets an awful lot of media coverage. If it weren’t for the corporate media – including all the stations you listed – he wouldn’t have had a chance. He’s been a media favorite over any of the Republicans that he was competing against.

    Whether he is a viable candidate largely rests on the fact that GOP is using him, just as he’s using the GOP.

    That’s my observation anyway. Right now … it is only those three … any changes to that would be purely serendipitous.

  10. I guess I just can’t keep up with all 3 stations plus the internet,but I’m trying.

  11. Hello: I just read this article for the first time. It seems that way back in February you saw what was going on. Your writing is very impressive. I’ve also seen your reviews on NewsTrust and they are very good. Your Uncle Nunzio seems to me to represent a lot of wisdom that isn’t of the boomer age. Whether Uncle is real or alter ego it is a valuable perspective. Thanks for your fine articles. I don’t necessarily agree with everything you have written, but I enjoy reading all of it. PG

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