Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Before the third debate

Unfortunately, I have plans for this evening which will prevent me from watching the Obama-McCain contest live (no, it's not the Cubs game, boo, hoo). I will tape it and try to catch a look at it in the next day or two, but everyone else will have a chance to weigh in before I will.

1) What will be interesting tonight is to see if McCain continues to let his TV ads and his running mate carry his water, while he does his fake cordiality thing. Personally, I wouldn't mind if he'd just let it fly, call Obama a terrorist and a Muslim, at least by implication, and let voters see just what he's turned himself into. I think Americans have the right to see just how down and dirty the principled maverick, the war hero, can get.

2) One thing I admit I enjoy is seeing prominent commentators come around to something that I, and I'm guessing most thinking people, understood some time ago. There may be a bit of envy mixed with the triumph on my part; seeing, for example, a Matt Yglesias, well-read blogger, book author, accepted authority, wake up and see something clearly months after people of discernment (namely, me) saw it fills me with an admixture of joy and frustration.

For instance, it occurs to Matt today that tonight's debate format "is basically a farce." The questions will come from people in the audience and from the Internet, at which point Tom Brokaw and his people will comb through them and select the few that will be asked. (There won't be any followup or comments from the asker or from Brokaw. Matt is upset:
In essence, Tom Brokaw and his staff will be asking the questions. They’re sifting through a big group of people, and their pre-set questions, and picking the questions they like. Meanwhile, though, Brokaw and co. get to evade responsibility for the questions if people don’t like them — it was real people asking! And no followups, so if John McCain gets a question about his plan to cut Medicare and wants to give an answer about Bill Ayers, nobody can stop him.
And this only occurs to Yglesias now? We've seen this format before. Unless there is a magic arrow roving randomly across the audience to select the next questioner, of course there is screening going on. Does anyone really think that the questions won't end up being pretty much the same as Brokaw would have asked anyway?

This is simply more pandering to the ersatz Web 2.0 style which says that allowing people to create their own reality is somehow preferable to framing things through experience and intelligence, even when the reality itself is being framed. It's a lie, and people should stop falling into the trap of believing that this somehow brings "authenticity" to a situation.

No comments:

Clicky Web Analytics