Observing from beyond the solar system, a cultural outsider looks in.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Democratic debate on Sunday

On Sunday, eight Democratic candidates will debate on CNN, starting at 7 p.m..

Let's hope the format of this debate is better than the last one. In the previous debate, on MSNBC, the short answer format favored candidates with soundbites and not real plans. Candidates were often asked about superficial things that the media seems to care about, rather than issues that affect voters. Even worse, the majority of the questions were directed to media appointed front runners Clinton and Obama, with fewer questions directed at the other candidates.

In just one example of this bias, moderator Brian Williams asked John Edwards a question about his vote on the Iraq war that was designed as an invitation for him to attack Hillary Clinton. When Edwards declined to attack Clinton, saying that everyone in Congress had to consult their own conscience on the issue, Williams awarded Clinton with time for a rebuttal anyway. It became clear that the question to Edwards had been designed as one with a built-in rebuttal for Hillary Clinton, no matter what answer Edwards gave.

We can only hope that CNN approaches the debate more equitably. Debates about real issues are important for voters in a democracy. It would be nice to see some substantive debate, rather than the sensational fluff that usually dominates our media.

In case you're in the mood for a bit of entertaining fluff, however, you can download these debate bingo cards to play with while you're watching. They were designed by a blogger named Jill. They contain phrases and issues that John Edwards often talks about, and were recently featured on CNN and the John Edwards campaign blog.

For those who will be in New Hampshire, there are several events before and during the debate that are listed on the John Edwards website.


Blogger benny06 said...

I hope too the questions will be more fair to all of the candidates.

June 02, 2007


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