Last night’s debate confirmed the depths news programming has fallen. Even using the low standard of what amounts to news comedy, like the programming on CNN, and the other alphabet cable news channels, last night was in a word, “two steps below awful.” I have never in my life seen such a poor example of professionalism.
I’m not sure if the moderators had been drinking or had excessed on “silly pills,” but it would have been hard for them to behave more poorly or do a worst job.
The moderators let the debate get out of hand with their blessings. The only reason there was even an illusion tehy exercised any control at all – was because Gingrich, Santorum, and Herman Cain, displayed more decorum than the moderators did. The absence of balanced questions for all of the candidates, was second only to the absence of questions for Cain, Gingrich, and Santorum.
Newt Gingrich was correct when he challenged Chris Wallace, pursuant to “gotcha” questions. As a collective, I’ve seen been moderators and better questions in high school debate forums.
The debate last night was serious. It may not have been that overly important for those who have already made up their minds, but what about the undecided? It wasn’t fair to the candidates. And it was fair to those who wanted to hear a well moderated professional exchange of ideas? Was it fair to young persons not yet of voting age, who perhaps had been given a homework assignment based on the debate? Was it fair to young people perhaps preparing to vote for the first time?
And as is often the case, even as you want to believe a thing has reached its lowest point, it sinks lower. So it is with those who are now hailing the work of Wallace, and Bret Baier as a stellar job. The truth is, their work was not stellar and neither were they. The questions Byron York asked were not fitting of someone of his ability.
Last night was a shameful disgrace, not worthy of ability of those who moderated. They have an obligation to perform professionally, even when they do not want too. Chris Wallace’s behavior was even more untoward than when he asked Michelle Bachmann if she was “a flake?” What kind of program host, short of Jerry Springer, asks a Congresswoman and presidential candidate such a question?
Could it be that they weren’t there to be serious, because they themselves do view the candidates as being worth their time? If so that’s their prerogative to feel that way – but it wasn’t their prerogative to behave that way once they accepted the assignment. To even hint that they did a good job, speaks to how far our once vaunted news programming has declined. And for the moderators to not apologize for their behavior, shows hows morally opprobrious the news industry has become.