Saturday, May 19, 2007

Monkeying Around with the News

NPR is at it again--making up an issue where none exists, and thereby avoiding issues of real substance. They did it immediately after the 2006 elections by trying to sell the idea that the elections were all about "bipartisanship" (and not the Iraq war) and this morning John Ydstie and Mara Liasson were going to the heart of a big issue; the "frustrations" with too many candidates in a debate. Honest, I'm not making this up; here's Ydstie getting it started:
"...this large group of [Republican] presidential hopefuls...the Democratic field is almost as large....The question is does the sheer size of the field affect what voters can learn about the candidates." To bring Liasson into the conversation, Ydstie asks, "Is it necessary to have so many candidates?"
In her response Liasson concludes, "...that does cause some frustration, not just on the part of voters who are watching and maybe want to hear more from the candidates, but it also causes some frustration among the candidates who want more time to get their message out...." She does note that the greater number of candidates allows the lesser known candidates an "opportunity to break out of the second tier."
An interesting fact is that if you look around on the web and in the news, you find virtually nothing about concerns regarding too many candidates debating. And why should you? What you do find is a lot of concern with the Kremlinesque control over the Presidential debates exercised by the two major parties when the election season heats up - oops, exercised by the two major parties' corporate-funded surrogate, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD).

I should also note that this phony issue of "frustration" with too many candidates was launched on NPR a few days ago by Dan Shore. In his "analysis" he dishonestly states, "Ron Paul of Texas broke ranks by suggesting that the United States may have invited the 9/11 attacks by bombing Iraq in the 1990s." The term "invite" is obviously loaded and was never used by Paul (it was used by one of the moderators and then picked up with gusto by Guliani). You can read the exchange here and decide for yourself. What obviously irks Shore is any dissent from the extremely narrow limits of acceptable discussion that a controlled front-runner debate enforces. Ah, but Dan Shore knows what's good for us: "It strikes me that the public would be better served by ending the early candidate debates in favor of more extensive head-to-head debates between the Democratic and Republican nominees...I can remember such being more fruitful."

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