As Neil Postman and Zach Wendling have noted, politics on television is the height of triviality. Rarely is anything noteworthy said and rarely is anything of substance discussed. Last night’s Democratic debate was no exception. Thanks to my wretched cable company, which doesn’t carry the Versus Network in its basic package, I was shut out once again from NHL playoffs, so I watched Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama go at it from the Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
Those who missed it didn’t miss much. The first hour was dedicated to rehashing the delightful talk radio “issues” of the last four months–Bittergate, Rev. Wright, Bosnian snipers, and flag pins. Later in the debate, we were subject to debates about Obama’s friendship with William Ayers of the Weather Underground (this issue will not hurt Obama because, as Obama pointed out, President Bill Clinton pardoned those jokers), Clinton’s strong defense of cops and fireman making over $100k a year, Charles Gibson’s attempted use of the Laffer Curve to question Obama on capital gains taxes, and Clinton’s slow morph into a Giuliani Republican (New York! 9/11!).
To make it easier on all of us, for all future made-for-television political events I’m going to institute a “10-Word Review” feature. Any political event on television, be they rallies, debates, or State of the Union addresses, can be described in precisely 10 words. As such:
ABC uses questions submitted by talk radio; bitter Dems fume.