Sunday, January 08, 2012
Last Night's Debate - 'Moderator' Stephanopoulos Does His Bit For Obama
Last night's debate in New Hampshire was most notable for proving once again that Republicans and especially conservative Republicans should avoid the dinosaur media like the plague.
Last night's debate was hosted by ABC, and moderated by George Stephanopoulos - ex-campaign operative, Senior Advisor on Policy and Strategy and press spin jockey for President Bill Clinton, who walked into his job with ABC as soon as he resigned from the White House.
Stephanopoulos' 'moderating' lacked even a semblance of objectivity or journalistic ethics as he fired over the top broadsides , often hypothetical ones at the GOP candidates to the point where I wouldn't be surprised if he got an early morning call from the White House beforehand. Here's a sample:
“Now, there have been questions about that calculation of 100,000 jobs. So if you could explain it a little more,” Stephanopoulos asked Romney of the former governor’s claims about jobs created by companies he has helmed. “I’ve read some analysts who look at it and say that you’re counting the jobs that were created but not counting the jobs that were taken away. Is that accurate?”
“No, it’s not accurate,” Romney bluntly responded. “It includes the net of both. I’m a good enough numbers guy to make sure I got both sides of that.”
Stephanopoulos did not cite any analysts by name.
In another line of questioning, Stephanopoulos asked Romney if he believes “that states have the right to ban contraception, or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?”
Romney responded by questioning Stephanopoulos’ logic and his choice to raise a hypothetical situation that would never happen.
“You’re asking — given the fact that there’s no state that wants to do so, and I don’t know of any candidate that wants to do so — you’re asking could it constitutionally be done?” Romney asked, with a hint of incredulity.
Stephanopoulos, undeterred, pressed Romney again: “I’m asking you, do you believe that states have that right or not?”
Amid a chorus of “boos” from the audience, Romney again parried the impossible hypothetical.
“George, I don’t know whether a state has a right to ban contraception,” Romney responded. “No state wants to. I mean, the idea of you putting forward things that states might want to do that no state wants to do, and asking me whether they could do it or not, is kind of a silly thing, I think.”
Stephanopoulos also took shots at the other candidates, notably Rick Santorum and Ron Paul. And he deliberately encouraged the candidates to squabble among themselves rather than actually doing what a moderator is supposed to do, keep things on track and on topic. I'm sure that pleased the Obama campaign no end.
Oh, I hear what you're thinking...'hey,George Stephanopoulos is a human being,he has his views, you can't expect him to shut them off.'
Actually, that's exactly what I expect, from him and anyone else in the media who bills themselves as journalists and news professionals rather than commentators or opinion writers.
Tell me, when you go to work in an office, in a factory, or a business environment do you make a point of trumpeting your politics? Do you let them affect your job performance? Let's say you're Democrat plumber whose boss sends you on a job, you make a point of talking politics with the customer and modify your charges and your performance based on their ideology. How long do you think you'd stay employed?
The same thing is true in most work environments...with the exception of academia,Hollywood and the dinosaur media, where voicing conservative views can impact your employment prospects unless you're too well established and entrenched to touch.
A detached, balanced and non-biased attitude ought to be the standard in broadcast news and journalism, and it used to be, at least on the surface. Not any more. If George Stephanopoulos received any negative feedback from his employers at ABC for his performance, it was for not being more subtle about it.
That's exactly why the stocks, the readers and the audience are plummeting at the dinosaur media papers and the alphabet networks, and why the internet, talk radio and FOX, whose motto 'Fair and Balanced' is exemplified by their having Democrat Chris Wallace as their main anchor are seeing their readership and audiences surge. Since the dinosaur media's whitewash of President Obama, more and more people simply aren't drinking the Kool-ade anymore.
If I were running, I wouldn't even go near a debate like this. I think NewtGingrich had a decent idea of making these things Lincoln -Douglas style, with no moderator but a timekeeper and the candidates forced to think on their feet to counter each other's arguments. At the very least, I wouldn't go near one sponsored by the alphabet networks unless I badly needed exposure.
As for the rest of the debate, it was notable that once again, no one has really been able to lay a glove on Mitt Romney. There were a few attempts, mainly by Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, mainly focusing on Romney's changes in his positions and his time at Bain Capital, but they didn't really seem to do much damage and seemed fairly ineffectual.
The primary is Tuesday, and Romney is expected to win. It will be interesting to see how Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum end up finishing as we proceed on to South Carolina.
ADDENDUM: Hugh Hewitt notes that the execrable David Gregory did exactly the same thing that Stephanopoulos did last night in the NBC debate Gregory 'moderated' this Sunday morning.
No question in my mind now that this was coordinated from the White House. Disgraceful.