Debate or Da’ Bait : ABC News Goes Springer

17 April 08, The Almost Daily Binx, San Jose, CA; by Binx101

Wasted Opportunity – The Skipper and Little Buddy

Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, looking a lot like the main characters from a comedy sketch parody of an actual political debate, presided over the worst televised Presidential debate – ever.  While ABC may be patting themselves on the back for record viewership – their tabloid styled questions revealed their lust for ‘gotcha’ as they abandoned any pretense of being a legitimate News adjunct or a legitimate challenge of the potential nominees vision and policy principles.

The sense that the TV event was a debate was shattered in mere minutes as the subtle slap-fest began.  All anticipation of the general public learning the nuance of the potential nominees’ policy bent through reasoned argument was shattered from the first words the hosts uttered.

Towering Charles Gibson, with spectacles permanently perched on the tip of his nose, reminiscent of a Norman Rockwell painting, appeared to be delivering lines in a read-through of a new stage play.  Though he paid particular attention to enunciation and dramatic inflection, there was every sense that the questions were carefully designed (including untimely follow-ups and moderator interruptions) to evoke emotion rather than provide any probative value

George Stephanopoulos, highlighted his diminutive stature further by addressing Clinton and Obama from an unusual and peculiar-looking crouch; a body language that curiously projected tremendous discomfort and uneasiness.  His voice and demeanor, lacking their usual confidence and animation, seemed that of a reluctant interlocutor rather than a an interested interrogator.  His questions, not unlike Gibson’s followed suit, requiring a defensive posture by the candidates each time necessitating them to defend against media manufactured innuendo before expressing any policy ideas.

ABC News – Heck’ of a Job – Drive News Cycles and Profits

Indeed, there was clearly one objective in mind from the ABC News Bureau – to keep the pot boiling and create a buzz.  A lesson right from the Rupert Murdoch hand-book of journalism – it’s all about the money stupid !!

We’re terribly disappointed that the Disney owned ABC thinks so much of the American dollar and so little of the American electorate. A forensics team with the assistance of dazzling technology would surely fail to extract any other benefit from last night’s ABC “News” hosted debate other than re-igniting the Reverend Wright controversy, Hillary’s sniper gaffe, Obama’s inartful ‘bitter’ comment and Hillary’s poll declines in honesty.  All of which have had coverage ad nauseum in the corporate media yet appeared to represent the Network’s vested interests.

Economic policy and follow-up questions were relegated to the last moments of the debate even though they were preceded by a question to the potential nominees that was worthy of national dope slap.  That is, if they would follow suit and invite and regard the advice of the George Bush, should either one of them win the election.   This not only was a waste of the candidates time … but a waste of the viewers time and like most other questions of the less than dynamic duo of hosts – engineered to inspire gossip and late night talk show gags.  None of which was their charge.

We feel very strongly that Gibson, Stephanopoulos and ABC News were not simply derelict in their responsiblity but proved to be content with creating less clarity and more unuseful information instead of providing a the candidates an ample opportunity to discuss their differences in policy and vision.  The inclusion of silly man-on -the-street questions was almost as transparent as the uninspiring hosts’.

(The Almost Daily Binx apologizes for not including images in this article for visual esthetics, but after considerable discussion, we unanimously agreed that we didn’t want to have look at Gibson or Stephanopoulos for a while.)

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6 Responses

  1. Wait ??? With all due respect, are you commenting on this article? or another?

    We commented on the terrible form of the debate that spent more time on commercials for bowel movement inspiring yogurt than it did on thought provoking discourse on important subjects.

    Talking about Rev. Wright or Hilliary’s trust poll dominated the questions from the Skipper and Gilligan – they didn’t focus on policy issues until the end. Just when the discussion turns to essential issues they forced us to watch more ads.

    Who said Obama was a victim – The American Electorate was the victim deprived of precisely what YOU have implied.

  2. Binx101, I agree with your article. I was very unhappy with the way the debate was conducted. I still don’t believe I was watching ABC. I had to make sure it was not Fox News. I guess ABC is now on the same page as Fox News and the other Tabloids.

  3. Binx, you are being too polite. This is a canned anti-Obama response crawling the web and blogosphere.

    Sort of like a robot crawling the web and making the same argument regardless of the discussion — “Barry” started it, he is playing victim, can’t take the tough questions, he is a stuff suit, etc.

    The thoughtless language is the same.

    Thank YOU for your thoughtful post.

  4. Bitter: We did the same thing … had a hard time reconciling that we weren’t actually watching a spoof.

    Ellen: Thanks for heads-up about the scripted reply. It didn’t though have any of the tell-tale signs of ‘spoofing’ bot. I’ll be more alert in the future. Based on the your reply I have removed it. Now I’ll sit and remind myself I’m not so smart.

  5. […] About ← Debate or Da’ Bait : ABC News Goes Springer […]

  6. I for one will not continue to watch ThisWeek anymore after last sunday.
    GS basked in the adulation and support of Cokie/Sam/George – messengers all.

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