October 10, 2003

A miserable failure

Unlike many (most?) bloggers, I'm not much of a press basher, but Judy Woodruff's performance at last night's Democratic debate was, to put it mildly, unfortunate.

Over and over she interrupted the candidates as they offered their negative assessments of the current administration with the admonition that the voters needed to know where they differed with each other, not President Bush. Did it really never occur to Ms. Woodruff that one of the most important differences among the candidates is how they go about critiquing the man one of them will be running against next year?

Is Dean attacking from too far in left field on the war? Is Edwards' populist assault really likely to connect with middle class voters? How does Clark sound when he's going after George Bush as an unsteady commander-in-chief? Those issues are deeply relevant to this process, fundamental even. In fact, they are precisely the kinds of questions that those of us who'll be voting in the next few months are asking.

And thanks in large part to Judy Woodruff's performance, we're no closer to being able to answer them this morning than we were yesterday.

Posted by Jack O'Toole on October 10, 2003 08:58 AM

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Debate Etiquette
Excerpt: DEBATE ETIQUETTE....Jack O'Toole comments on yesterday's Democratic debate:Unlike many (most?) bloggers, I'm not much of a press basher, but Judy Woodruff's performance at last night's Democratic debate was, to put it mildly, unfortunate. Over and over...
Weblog: Calpundit
Tracked: October 10, 2003 12:46 PM
Comments

I only watched about 5 minutes of the debate, but even so I'm going to offer a bit of a disagreement.

I saw Woodruff interrupt a few times, but it seemed like she was trying to cut off campaign speeches and get the candidates to actually address the questions she asked. In a sense, it was sort of refreshing.

Now, like I said, I only watched a few minutes, and I can see how this might be really annoying for a full 90 minutes. But somewhere there needs to be a middle ground. I find these debates pretty worthless precisely because nobody rides herd on the candidates and forces them to actually respond instead of just giving canned applause lines.

Posted by: Kevin Drum on October 10, 2003 12:25 PM

She had a plan (or her orders) and she was sticking to it. A few times, the camera couldn't even see the candidate because Woodruff was in his face telling him his answer wasn't on point. Yikes. The moderator's interaction with the candidates really shouldn't be the central drama.

Posted by: ogged on October 10, 2003 12:29 PM

Kevin must type faster than I do...

It was a good plan: a few times, she really made them scramble to answer the question rather than deliver a speech, but I watched just about the whole thing and she really became a distraction.

Posted by: ogged on October 10, 2003 12:31 PM

Kevin's right, that in the first few moments (I assume that's what he saw) Woodruff tried to keep the candidates focused. But after the first few times she interrupted, all the candidates apparently decided just to talk over her. I don't blame them, really. If I only have a minute to talk, I'm saying what I want to say.

It'd be great if someone could get the candidates to actually answer, but I don't see how it can be done with nine candidates on a tight time limit. And I don't think Woodruff's method of interrupting candidates in mid-sentence is a good way to go about it, either. Whether they're on topic or not, that's just rude.

Also, she did a lot of editorializing, which I find distasteful. Just asking the friggin' question.

Posted by: strannix on October 10, 2003 12:47 PM

********

RAPID RESPONSE IS NEEDED: CALL EMAIL

CNN IS slandering Clark. (calling him wishy washy)

Call 404-827-1500

Email

http://www.cnn.com/feedback/cnnpopups/livefrom/frameset.exclude.html

http://www.cnn.com/feedback/hottopics/4/frameset.exclude.html

MY E-MAIL COMMENTS

Your 2:15 pm EDT newscast was off base in its attack on Gen. Clark.
The Screen Titles kept saying Clark was "wishy washy"!!!!

He was being accused of changing positions. "Wishy Washy" means that you're unable to come to a position, that you're weak, this is what Jimmy Carter was accused of.

Gen. Clark has 16 commendations for battlefield bravery and 4 stars on his shoulder. That doesn't sound "wishy washy" weak to me.

We can always turn on MSNBC, or call your sponsors, if you insist on tearing him down. in your quest to retain Bush and his position on Media consolidation.

Posted by: Jenny Crawford on October 10, 2003 03:26 PM

Woodruff apparently was told that she was seen as a liberal, and the new bosses at CNN did not want her to appear as such. In an effort to paint a smiley face on Bush and other Republicans also, she was told to "fall in line."

So she now appears to be a neo-conjournalist. A new more Bush friendly media supportive CHEERLEADER of BUSH spin 24/7. Not FOX, but FOX lite, you get the picture. Same for MSNBC.

Investigative journalism is dead in the US. We the people need to find an altenative source for REAL NEWS.
And we have, its called the internet. Thank God!

Posted by: Bush Stomper on December 7, 2003 11:01 PM