Here I thought it was just me, screaming at the television set as ABC News -- hosts of the debate -- proved they were FOX News' long lost twin. Did Rupert Murdoch buy Disney, or what? No substantial questions for at least the first hour of the debate, and the ABC "moderators" (Charlie Gibson and former Clinton Communications Director George Stephanopoulos) adopted a "gotcha" questioning style that focused almost exclusively on Barack Obama.
Hillary Clinton happily dove into the tabloid-style topics provided to her gratis, which included important-to-every-American questions such as why Obama doesn't wear an American Flag lapel pin (patriotism is measured by a pin the way Christian faith is measured by a "Jesus Saves" T-shirt!), why Obama didn't walk out of church when Rev. Wright spoke after 9/11 ("I wasn't there for that sermon," said Obama, rather wearily, for about the 1,000nth time, an obvious reason for not walking out), and then more questions about Wright's own patriotism, all delivered by ABC's dynamic duo of "yes, we are totally out of touch with the American public, and we don't care" hacks.
[photo: ABC Washington Bureau Chief George Stephanopoulos back in his days as President Clinton's Communications Director]
Then came questions regarding Obama's relationship to a former Weatherman Underground member. Hillary seamless picked up the baton from her co-participants, contrasting herself to a man who would hang out with such dubious characters. This farce had for Obama gone on long enough. He reminded Hillary and her ABC friends that Bill Clinton had given two Weatherman a presidential pardon, far more questionable a call than having been on a committee with a former Weatherman (who's crime was committed when Sen. Obama was eight years old).
After they and Hillary tag-teamed Obama for around an hour, I did start feeling really bitter, and did in fact both pray and reach for my handgun, only to find that it wasn't there because I don't have one. Otherwise I'd have plugged the TV set, shrieking "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more!" As it was, I sat there with my dear wife, smoldering away in impotent indignation. She was no help, as after one particularly dubious bashing of Obama by Hillary, my dear sweet and kind lady muttered in a strangely gutteral tone, "SHUT UP!"
This morning I went to ABC News' website, just to see if anyone else felt as cheated and disgusted at the partisan and useless excuse for a debate as my dearling and I had. Lo and behold, over 13,000 (and counting) comments had been left regarding the debate, and an absolutely astonishing number of them -- from both Obama and Clinton supporters -- bashed ABC's horrendous pretense at a debate.
A few samples should offer the flavor:
"Fed Up and Bitter" wrote:
George Stephanopolis and Charlie Gibson should be fired. This debate is a meaningless waste of time....right along the lines of the newspapers you see at the checkout stand that feature batboy."mustafadream" wrote:
Thank you for driving public discourse into the ground. Bring me my bread and circus! Hooray!
"politipsych" brought up the still-brewing controversy regarding possible connections between George S's questions and right-wing commentator Sean Hannity who -- surprise! -- works for FOX News:
"Evidence described this morning [revealing] that Stephanopolos' questions we not just metaphorically derived from the likes of Hannity, but were literally given to him by Hannity, underscores two things. First, Stephanopolos and his ilk (in which I include Hillary) are more comfortable with the right-wingnuts than they are with the traditional positions of the Democratic Party. And second, Stephanopolos is no journalist and should never be mistaken for one. This was simply disgraceful."
Did I mention that 13,000 plus comments have been posted at ABC? Please, if you haven't left one yourself, and you watched what I watched, do yourself a favor. Go get a user name and account on ABC.com and leave them another comment.
A final note... it should be said that they also asked Hillary about her Bosnia comments. I don't care much about her response (which was to me unimpressive), because I don't think the question should have been asked any more than the ones Obama was asked. American voters care this year about issues. The media, and possibly their multinational corporate heads, seem to care more about making sure a Republican ends up in the White House.
Still bitter... and still clinging (minus my gun) to God...
tag: April 16 debate, ABC News, ABC Loses debate, Sean Hannity, FOX News, Christian Right, Right Wing, media bias, attack on obama, multinational corporations and politics