Stop the Spin, I Want To Get Off

I watched the debate. I won’t comment on the content or the candidates. This blog is not the place for that&#185.

It held my attention. I’m glad of that. I am anxious to see how many Americans watched it. There seemed to be a lot of buzz beforehand. I don’t speak to too many people after work at 11:35 PM, so I can’t tell now how many actually did watch.

Whether it changes anyone’s mind or not, what a tribute to our way of life that this free and open exchange takes place.

I was curious to see how the debate was received by others, so when I got home I turned the TV on and read a little on the Internet. I’m no babe in the woods here, but I am astounded by all the spin… and astounded that networks and websites depend on it.

If Sony just announced a new line of TVs, I wouldn’t bring on Sony’s sales manager to tell me how they rate. Isn’t that exactly what is being done on TV and in print? Where is the value in partisan’s slavishly praising their boy?

I’m going to use Robert Novak and Paul Begala as examples. This has nothing to do with who does or doesn’t support the president. I just happened to read Novak’s blog on CNN’s website first.

Novak made comments every few moments as the debate progressed and each and every one of them was critical of Kerry. Again, it’s not what Novak is saying that I object to. The question is, where is the benefit in using commentary from someone so intransigent that he only sees one side of the issue?

Didn’t Kerry do anything right? Did Bush do anything wrong? Not to Novak.

Novak’s counterpart, Paul Begala gave George Bush credit for one small point… and everything else went to Kerry. I suppose his giving Bush any ground is a surprise. Still, Begala could have pretty much written this before the debate began.

Being balanced doesn’t mean having two diametrically opposed pundits face off. Balance means using people with open minds who are willing to make observations based on what actually happened, not preconceived positions.

Sometimes your guy is good. sometimes your guy is bad. Hey, that’s life!

I want to read what’s written from your gut, not your doctrine. We’re talking about the presidency. Isn’t this too important for politics as usual?

&#185 – Earlier this evening, a thoughtful reader of this blog posted a comment with his opinion of the debate. I respectfully removed it. This smacks of censorship, because it is. I think it is incredibly important that this site not contain any partisan politics. That decision, right or wrong, is mine alone to make and I hope the commenter understands.