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Screaming at the TV

Jul 31, 2020
What debate was David Brooks watching?
In his report card on Wednesday night’s Philadelphia match-up between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the Times columnist gave Clinton a B and Obama a D+. I’m not sure I saw it that way.
But what I really disagree with is the A he gave ABC News. Didn’t anchors Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos do their best to avoid getting anywhere near a real issue?
Merrill Goozner summed it up nicely this morning:
After 45 minutes of last night’s debate, the questions from the alleged journalists had covered bitterness, Rev. Wright, bitterness again, Rev. Wright again, dodging bullets in Kosovo (I guess that passed for equal opportunity bullshit), and then, to top it all off, a question about Sen. Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers, who was a member of a radical fringe group 40 years ago. Then Stephanopoulos, a former Democratic Party apparatchik in the first Clinton administration, bated both candidates to publicly take the "no new taxes" pledge, one year before the Bush administration’s massive tax break for the rich (enacted on the eve of war) is about to expire.
Only after the third or fourth commercial break and nearly an hour into the show did the first question come about one of the top three issues on the minds of American voters: Iraq. The economy was passed over quickly to move onto gun control. And unless I missed it while taking a bathroom break, the issue of health care never came up.
Tom Shales was even more precise in The Washington Post, calculating that the ABC men spent the first 52 minutes of the 2-hour production dwelling "entirely on specious and gossipy trivia that already has been hashed and rehashed."
Shales called it "another step downward for network news" and if he had been giving grades, there wouldn’t be an A for ABC. Instead, he said its anchors "turned in shoddy, despicable performances."
The whole thing didn’t go down any better in Philadelphia. "Issues take back seat at debate," is how the Bucks County Courier Times put it.
But those of us who watched on television should know that it was even worse to be inside the National Constitution Center. As someone who was inside the Kimmel Theatre told me, "At home, you can scream at your TV."
Camilo Wood

Camilo Wood

Camilo Wood has over two decades of experience as a writer and journalist, specializing in finance and economics. With a degree in Economics and a background in financial research and analysis, Camilo brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his writing. Throughout his career, Camilo has contributed to numerous publications, covering a wide range of topics such as global economic trends, investment strategies, and market analysis. His articles are recognized for their insightful analysis and clear explanations, making complex financial concepts accessible to readers. Camilo's experience includes working in roles related to financial reporting, analysis, and commentary, allowing him to provide readers with accurate and trustworthy information. His dedication to journalistic integrity and commitment to delivering high-quality content make him a trusted voice in the fields of finance and journalism.
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