Real issues get one line from the Washington Post, while Post’s TV critic blasts ABC hosts “shoddy, despicable performances.”

Today’s front page Washington Post article about the debate last night comprised twenty-five paragraphs. This is the 23rd paragraph:

The debate also touched on Iraq, Iran, the Middle East, taxes, the economy, guns and affirmative action.

That pretty much sums up the debate. It’s almost comical. One line, in the 23rd paragraph of a 25 paragraph article. Granted, because of the performance of Stephanopoulos and Gibson, the Post didn’t have much to work with.

The political reporters and pundits didn’t get what happened last night, but the Post’s media critic, Tom Shales did:

When Barack Obama met Hillary Clinton for another televised Democratic candidates’ debate last night, it was more than a step forward in the 2008 presidential election. It was another step downward for network news — in particular ABC News, which hosted the debate from Philadelphia and whose usually dependable anchors, Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, turned in shoddy, despicable performances.

For the first 52 minutes of the two-hour, commercial-crammed show, Gibson and Stephanopoulos dwelled entirely on specious and gossipy trivia that already has been hashed and rehashed, in the hope of getting the candidates to claw at one another over disputes that are no longer news. Some were barely news to begin with.

So, it wasn’t just the bloggers.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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