Democratic Debate Final Analysis: Abomination Doesn’t Even Begin to Describe

Regular readers should know my typical pattern by now. I like to wait a day before providing my final analysis of a debate, get a sense on which moments are going to play big in the media and which aren’t, and take the temperature of who is winning the spin wars.

In so far as one could even call this atrocity a debate, however, it was not enough of a debate to warrant the typical treatment.

The irony of all this is that avoiding an event like last night was exactly why the Democratic candidates have shunned Fox News. Of course, ABC wouldn’t engage in the railroading that the FNC was just itching to get into, right?

Wrong, wrong, and you couldn’t possibly be more wrong. Since Sean Hannity couldn’t be there to moderate the debate (again, both “moderate” and “debate” are terms that I employ both skeptically, and with disdain), he let George Stephanopolous crib off his notes.

And if you think that’s hyperbole on my part, think again.

In fact, for the first half of the entire debate, not one issue came to light. Both Democratic candidates even made futile attempts to try and push the topic of discussion onto issues that really mattered, and the moderators refused.

The sad thing is that the real victims aren’t the candidates. By the time I go to bed, this will be back to the ground game, who’s got the grassroots support to pull off a decision in Pennsylvania that will stun people cold. No, the real losers amid this debate are us, and more specifically, the voters in Pennsylvania. As opposed to seeing what the candidates had to say about, oh, I don’t know, the President authorizing torture, and lying about it, or perhaps plans for education, they were served up the very worst about politics.

Simply put, last night’s debate was nothing more than a two hour long hit piece. Given that the station has put an embargo on footage from the debate, refusing to allow other networks to air more than thirty seconds of footage in one shot, the repurcussions have the potential to be terribly worse.

This is the kind of irresponsible behavior on behalf of the media that should not be tolerated. In a post earlier tonight, my colleague Dustin posted the number to the ABC switchboard: 1 (212) 456-7777. And he’s damn right, it’s time to call.

But it’s not time to complain, it’s time to start demanding they do their jobs. And they can start by apologizing to the Democratic candidates whom they couldn’t even ask straightforward questions without throwing out negative spin. They must apologize to the Pennsylvanians whom they served so poorly. In less than a week, Pennsylvanians are going to go to the polls, and instead of providing a forum where the candidates could discuss the issues that really matter to the voters, they were subjected to mudslinging. And they need to apologize to the American people for their direct role in furthering a political culture that is driven not by ideas but by scandal and controversy.

ABC is part of the problem, and if we are worth our salt as progressives, liberals, and independent journalists, then it is up to us to be the solution.

And if you are a candidate supporter who is shrugging your shoulders and thinking it’s not your problem, the other candidate got what they deserve, you need to be ashamed of yourself. I don’t care if you support Hillary, or you support Obama, if you can’t see that this was an assault on all of us, well, you’re neither liberal nor progressive, nor even a Democrat, and you should probably change your party affiliation as soon as possible.

I want nothing to do with you.

Because what we saw last night, unless we don’t stand up and DEMAND honest journalism from the mainstream media, we are going to be railroaded this fall, and  by this time next year there will be scant little difference between saying President Bush and President McCain.

I can’t even describe how disgusted I am right now.

(edited by DrGail)

5 Responses to “Democratic Debate Final Analysis: Abomination Doesn’t Even Begin to Describe”

  1. Albert Johnson Jr says:

    It’s now 2:00 on the west coast and my stomach has finally calmed down. I might be able to sleep after I read another 50 blogs to just confirm I really just saw what I saw. Obama showed the utmost tact in not simply walking off that stage. I can think of at least 50 things including do you prefer coffee or tea that are more important than William Ayers. William Ayers? Are you kidding me oh wait there goes my gut again

  2. Hey Al,

    Yeah, it was pretty tough to watch, and I couldn’t comment on it much as time went on as I kept getting called away.

    But, Obama just picked up the endorsement of two more super delegates, so that’s good news.

  3. Cee says:

    Yesterday morning someone suggested that people protest the MSM headquarters to demand real news.

    I suggested that they protest at the homes of the CEO’s and the pressitutes who spew this nonsense.

    When they have to answer to their families and neighbors we’ll see some change.

  4. pressitutes…

    hehehehe

    wow, I like that, can I borrow that maybe, should the opportunity arise.

    Interestingly enough, a KOS diarist wrote it up that if you really wanted to get at these peopl, you have to go to your local affiliate, calling the main office will do you know good. Really, I don’t know, I’ll call both, that was a travesty.

  5. Dynamic says:

    It gets worse – check out this crap coverage of a crap debate:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/17/us/politics/17debate.html?scp=1&sq=debate+clinton+sharp&st=nyt

    I mean honestly, I expect vacuous garbage from TV, but I had hoped for better from the New York Times.

    I definitely encourage you to write a letter to the editor expressing exactly that sentiment, I did last night and I think the more the merrier.

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