Saturday, April 19, 2008

the debate in one minute and other lunacy

This is classic, and absolutely hilarious.

23/ has posted this video that condenses Wednesday's "debate" into one minute of sheer nonsense (instead of the 90 minutes of sheer nonsense that it in fact was).

After sludging through that pseudo-journalistic ambush and reading scads and scads of analysis (I measured them: there were at least 4,000 scads...honest!), I needed someone to put the whole thing in its simplest possible perspective.

And here is a link to the aforementioned perspective:

I could not find an embed code, but it's worth a visit to 23/6 for that perfect one minute summation. And Chelsea makes a cameo appearance.

This week and this campaign reached a real nadir (and I don't mean Ralph, a Nader whose Nadir came in 2000) on Wednesday night. When respected journalists like Gibson team up with wannabes like Stephanopolous to rig a debate on a major network into an extension of the tabloid-style press coverage we've sadly grown used to, it is not merely politics as we know it that needs to change. Political coverage as we have come to know it needs to change too.

When did it become de rigueur for journalists, like stereotypical politicians, to pander to the lowest common denominator in their viewership? I try to imagine Walter Cronkite or Huntley and Brinkley presiding over a sham like Wednesday's debate and the images just won't come. When the "Compassion Forum," which featured questions about personal religious matters, ended up revealing more of substance than the major network political debate a few days later, something has gone considerbaly wrong.

Still, as Julian E. Zelizer pointed out this week, perhaps it is not all the fault of the media.

Voters have been guilty as well. The problem is not just the media or the political process. Public interest in politics has steadily declined since the nineteenth century when turnout in presidential elections averaged almost 80 percent and 60 to 80 percent for nonpresidential year elections. Election day was a major public event akin to entertainment. People vote less, their attachment to political institutions has declined, and their distrust in politicians has grown. Americans are more interested in American Idol than American presidents. They're not asking for much substance.

(See his entire diary here.)

I don't know what we as a nation deserve. I just wish we were getting something better than what we've been getting lately.

Fortunately for us all, there are Jon Stewart and Stphen Colbert. Colbert's Thursday show, featuring Clinton, Obama, Representative Pat Murphy, and John Edwards in a hilarious "EdWørds" segment, was probably his finest ever. And the week, capped by Obama's phenomenal rally in Philadelphia last night, drew to a close in a better fashion than it had begun.

Maybe Tuesday will end better than we expect as well.


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it's your hair that i notice first
streaked with morning
it frames your face
you lying there eyes closed
soft breath not quite there
i follow its path as it bends the sheet
and i can touch you there
touch what i feel is you
in the spark of daylight
you'll rise
pull on the wrinkled shirt from last night
say something you think is beautiful
drink some coffee
from behind my paper
and drive away,
leaving a kiss on my lips
and a hole in my heart
where a fire ought to be

Favorite Films

  • The Wizard Of Oz
  • Amelie
  • The Princess Bride
  • Casablanca
  • Annie Hall
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • All That Jazz
  • Citizen Kane
  • Love Actually
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Big Fish
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • Almost Famous
  • Bull Durham
  • Notting Hill
  • Apocalypse Now (Redux)
  • Magnolia

All-Time Favorite TV Shows

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Gilmore Girls
  • M*A*S*H
  • The West Wing
  • The X-Files
  • The Daily Show
  • Ally McBeal
  • Picket Fences
  • All In The Family
  • Seinfeld
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  • Star Trek
  • Firefly
  • Wonderfalls
  • Northern Exposure
  • Get Smart
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show
  • Twin Peaks
  • The Larry Sanders Show
  • Monk
  • Felicity
  • St. Elsewhere

Current TV Shows I Enjoy (in no particular order)

  • Perception
  • Major Crimes
  • American Horror Story
  • Louie
  • Suits
  • The Newsroom
  • Falling Skies
  • Franklin and Bash
  • Veep
  • Scandal
  • Fairly Legal
  • Girls
  • Don't Trust the B---
  • Justified
  • Portlandia
  • Psych
  • The Middle
  • Person of Interest
  • Happy Endings
  • Hart of Dixie
  • Real Time with Bill Maher
  • Nikita
  • Raising Hope
  • Castle
  • Drop Dead Diva
  • Covert Affairs
  • Elementary
  • Rizzoli and Isles
  • Revolution
  • The Last Resort
  • Alphas
  • SNL
  • Revenge
  • Community
  • Suburgatory
  • New Girl
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Grimm
  • Nashville
  • Downton Abbey
  • Smash
  • Homeland
  • Fringe
  • Glee
  • Haven
  • Community
  • Warehouse 13
  • Modern Family
  • Vampire Diaries
  • The Daily Show
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • The Colbert Report
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Leverage
  • Rachel Maddow Show

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