Last Week's Debate
James Fallows has a good takedown on what was fundamentally so bad about last week's Democratic presidential debate, which was almost an hour old before any of the moderators asked a question about a policy issue, and which featured Charles Gibson pointedly asking Barack Obama, "Does Reverend Wright love America as much as you do?" as if it were a legitimate question.
When ordinary citizens have a chance to pose questions to political leaders, they rarely ask about the game of politics. They want to know how the reality of politics will affect them—through taxes, programs, scholarship funds, wars. Journalists justify their intrusiveness and excesses by claiming that they are the public's representatives, asking the questions their fellow citizens would ask if they had the privilege of meeting with Presidents and senators. In fact they ask questions that only their fellow political professionals care about.