That Debate

I watched the entire Democratic debate last night and came away more annoyed with Wolf Blitzer than with any of the candidates. His arrogant, yet sanctimonious manner was over the top. For example, he kept demanding a choice between “Human rights or national security” in Pakistan, as though everybody knows that cracking down on Musharrif will endanger national security there, when in fact the people Musharrif is cracking down on are in no way the Taliban or Al Qeada, instead they are middle class people, while the tribes run free in the north, barely touched by the Pakistan army. I think Obama may have explained this the best, but most candidates had to waste time warding off Wolf’s simplistic question by trying to clarify the situation in various ways while he kept demanding an either-or answer.

Eric Alterman is going to do a Nation column next week on the debate but here’s his response to it today:

I’m going to do my Nation column this week about last night’s debate, but one thing I found particularly offensive, aside from the atrocious questioning, was, from the standpoint of sitting in the audience, the way CNN producers purposely ginned up the crowd to cheer over and over, as if they were pom-pommed cheerleaders at a high school pep rally. This is a ridiculously immature manner in which to conduct an alleged debate on the nation’s future, but it also interfered with the debate itself, as a bunch of rowdies in the crowd felt empowered to shout over the candidates’ answers. Overall, it was an abysmal performance, but I’ll have more ordered thoughts later in the week. I thought Joe Biden “won” the debate by the way, not that it matters… The loser was Wolf Blitzer.

I’ll be looking forward to Eric’s column next week.

UPDATE: Jamison Foser has a great analysis of the debate moderators lack of asking key questions here. Here’s the lead paragraph:

Through 17 debates this year, roughly 1,500 questions have been asked of the two parties’ presidential candidates. But only a small handful of questions have touched on the candidates’ views on executive power, the Constitution, torture, wiretapping, or other civil liberties concerns. (A description of those questions appears at the end of this column.)

  1. Danielle’s avatar

    I too like the majority of Americans are so fed up with the farce of MSM debates!

    We saw Kucinich at a townhall meeting today and Raj was paid special attention to by my presidential candidate. He hasn’t stopped talking about being hugged twice and got a kiss from the President. Playing outside screaming vote for Kucinich. Vote for no more war. I am so proud of my 6 year old activist.

    We came away from that meeting more fired up than ever before.

    Have a good weekend my friend.

  2. Mardé’s avatar

    That’s the way, Danielle! You have him trained at an early age. You’ve started him on the right track, and Denis helped!

    By the way I was disgusted the way Wolf Blitzer treated Kucinich at the debate last night. He made him last on the agenda, it appeared. And he skipped him entirely for one question. But Denis got back at him by responding to the question anyway during the next question.

    Also, Denis got off a good one by saying “I read it!” when Wolf asked him why he voted against the Patriot Act.

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