Thursday, October 11, 2007

Why I Don’t Watch Presidential Debates

Because they’re Stooopid:
This was to be the big gotcha against Fred Thompson. That he didn't know who the Prime Minister of Canada was. Except, in the debate, he got it right. Stephen
Harper. But who cares? It's not like the President doesn't have advisors who can clue him in on the guy's name before a major summit, or the moment he has to think about some issue relating to North American relations. The question is whether he has any coherent ideas as to North American trade and American-Canadian relation. But since that's a long question, with a possibly complicated answer, not only does nobody care to ask it, but no one would care to parse whether he got it right. Instead we get stupid gotchas like this, which probably lead to presidential candidates spending a lot of time with World Leader flash cards when they should be boning up on actual policy matters.
One-liners, sound bites, zingers, and, of course, the gotchas. Add to that, the candidates aren’t inclined to go off prepared and predicable scripts no matter what they are asked. When is the last time you saw a news story about how well a candidate answered a question? Nope, it’s only the mistakes that are newsworthy. These things are a waste of time, except for 24-hour “news” channels on cable that desperately need sometime to do. And now we’ve come to a point where there’s about one a week. Can’t get too much of a pointless thing.

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