November 13, 2003

Canned debate

Last week, there was a Rock the Vote forum for the Dems to debate in front of a young audience. About a third of the way down, a fairly inane question was asked by a freshman at Brown: "Macs or PCs?"

The general public rolled its eyes, and the debate went on. But back at Brown, a lot of people started dissing her for making Brown look bad with such an inane question. The Friday editorial that week gave out "diamonds and coal", as it does every week, and this time the "Macs or PCs girl" got coal for her lame question.

Responding to all this, she wrote a guest column in the BDH saying that it wasn't her question---CNN had asked her to ask it, and when she reworked it into a better question involving the use of technology, they still made her use their version; hers was, apparently, not "lighthearted" enough for the 18-31 demographic.

I think we all deep-down knew that there was some amount of scripting in these things, but to be slapped with it like this was something of a shock. And "lighthearted"? What the fuck? We're the ones who are going to have to pay off the government's debt---and that was even true back when we were just worried about social security and medicare, nevermind the current fiscal debacle. That's not very lighthearted, and I really resent CNN deciding that we're not serious enough to actually discuss real issues.

Anyway, this column got a lot of responses, both as website comments and in this editorial and this letter, and no doubt more to come. But even better, the media are picking it up. CNN itself apologised, of course, though it claims it was an isolated incident. We'll see.

"Well, I don't think the leader of North Korea is such a fine fellow either, but I don't think our foreign policy should be based on the petulance of our president." --Howard Dean

Posted by blahedo at 12:55am on 13 Nov 2003
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