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July 30, 2007

Gosh, Michael, Tell Us What You Really Think!

I didn't watch the YouTube debate between the Democratic hopefuls the other night, but evidently Michael Reagan did -- and he wasn't happy about it, as his article "The Hollywood Culture Takes Over" indicates.  First, he derides the whole Hollywood culture -- "the culture of the coke-snorting, booze-soaked Hollywood of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan and the rest of Tinseltown's decadent and far-Left celebrities." Then he lambasts CNN for turning over the Q&A sessions to "a weird conglomeration of clownish inquisitors" -- such as a "sock puppet asking about global warming" and an "AK47-toting fanatic" asking about gun ownership.  Michael's disdain for the whole YouTube debate -- and for anyone who accepts such a farce as legitimate public discourse -- can be heard in his final words:    

When the culture of Hollywood dominates the political discourse you end up having debates that tell the American people nothing of substance. Politics becomes a spectacle something like the Academy Awards where the participants show up in their most glamorous attire, mutter a lot of meaningless dialogue, celebrate each other's celebrity, while the media ogles from the sidelines. The Hollywood-ized debates are stupid.  The other night, CNN went a step further and made them asinine.

I'm sure some of our bloggers saw this debate. What do you think? Is Michael Reagan on target or off?

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Josh the Former Intern

I watched the CNN/YouTube debate the other night for well over an hour. I am still not sure why.

A couple thoughts on the debate:

1) It was a relatively worthless debate due to its inability to offer insight into the positions of the candidates or allow for any semi-prolonged argumentation (the main purposes of a debate to my knowledge). Anderson "360" Cooper would typically play one of the question-videos that had been submitted and ask only one of the candidates to respond. The candidate then got about 20-30 seconds to say a whole lot of nothing in response to the video. After Anderson said "Time" for the third time, the candidate would finally stop speaking and they would immediately launch another video. Very rarely was there any time for other candidates to give their own opinion on the topic or to offer a rebuttal.

The producers were obviously catering the debate to a younger audience with a severe corporate case of ADD. The debate served as a perfect example of the obvious failure of argumentation via sound bites.

2) Bill Richardson did, by far, the worst of any of the candidates. He is not very well-spoken and seems to have few intriguing ideas.

3) Joe Biden was, on the other hand, very well-spoken. Also, I found many of his ideas intriguing, especially his opinions on Iraq. Plus, he just looks like a President.

4) All the candidates need to be told that "Let's get together and find a bi-partisan solution to this problem" is not itself a solution to any problem.

Sy Hoekstra

Politics as a spectacle? Soundbites ad thoughtless insights? Who would have thought that we would ever see politics become so cheapened?

People seem surprised that this debate wasn't any better than any of the others. Why? It was the usual just in a slightly different format.

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