Thursday, April 17, 2008

Fury Over Philly Debate: This is New??

I see some heavy criticism in the blogosphere of ABC's Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos for their debate-moderating last night in Philadelphia.

I have to say, most unfortunately, that I was not surprised by their line of questioning. I've come to expect it. What they did is nothing new. To give just one example of what I mean, consider my comments regarding a 2004 Presidential debate when now-DNC-chairman Howard Dean was treated the same way that Obama was treated last night:
[..] [NBC's Lester Holt] made a shooting target out of Howard Dean, coming out of the starting gate harping on the "gotcha-of-the-moment" (where Dean criticized the Iowa caucus system on a tape from many years past). I wonder if Holt's mission is to try to pull a "gotcha" on Kerry next? [..] In the same debate, Lester Holt was the one who raised from the near-dead the stench of the Confederate flag fiasco once again (after it had been already over-covered in prior debates).
It's all happened before. So why the shock over Gibson and Stephanopoulos doing the same thing now .. when those of us who've paid close attention know that these dirty media tricks have been played again and again throughout political history? Perhaps the public's tiredness of all the manufactured controversy and staged debate-drama has reached a tipping point? Can we hope? Will the Obama and Clinton campaigns respond to this recent complaint about debates by ceasing their own bitter behind-the-scene attacks on one another? Can we hope? Come August, will the Republicans cease their own attacks that will surely mimic the petty negativity that was couched none too carefully last night in Gibson and Stephanopoulos' questions? Can we hope?

Will Bunch of the Philadephia Daily News/Inquirer/ blog Attytood leads the new media, as citizens of his fair city have led American opinion in the past, in what seems to be a growing parade of protest worthy of 76 trombones about last night's questionable style of debate-moderating.

There's no doubt that new media is moving toward an intersection with a new brand of politics. Robert Reich recently proclaimed the death of old media and the death of old politics. In all reality, isn't that a premature albeit hopeful proclamation?

Reich put it out there as if it were already true:
"The old politics, and the old media that feeds it, are irrelevant now."
Jaded "me" replies: 'Are they dead..really dead..most sincerely dead?' I don't know about you, but I heard the old dogs breathing heavily last night.

Because of the undeniable and lingering existence of old media, the founder of Daily Kos is nodding in agreement after posting a statement from another blogger that Hillary's no longer a Democrat after last night. I feel like the Democratic party's going nuts and I only can sit helplessly and watch it happen.

By seeing the many complaints in the blogosphere today, perhaps the big networks can finally be convinced, at a historic political time when a woman and a person of African-American descent, both too ambitious to concern themselves with party unity just now, are fighting with everything they've got to nail down the Democratic nomination...... perhaps the networks will be convinced that this is surely no time for pressing every bit of juice out of the most delicate of political fruits.... for making hay while the sun shines .. squeezing out as many advertising dollars as possible...

Jaded Me says, "Nah."