Worse for democracy: Chris Matthews or Wolf Blitzer? (Democratic debate)
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I thought the performance of Chris Matthews in the GOP debate was horrific, but Wolf Blitzer is trying to in effect outdo him by asking a series of puffball questions and then just letting the candidates blather on. This is extremely unhealthy for our political system; instead of letting them give speeches, Blitzer should be calling the candidates on their past statements and actions, and asking them tough follow-up questions designed to reveal the flaws in their arguments.
More later when a transcript is available...
UPDATE: It's good to see Arianna Huffington showing a little skin, but couldn't CNN find people who are a bit less mainstream, establishment (in the Dem universe that is)?
UPDATE 2: Free Eric Alterman! Free Eric Alterman! No Justice, No VanDen Heuvel! The Nation columnist - and paid Media Matters shill - was arrested at the debate. He tell his side of the story here.
UPDATE 3: The transcript (link) shows just how much of a lightweight Blitzer is. He asked Richardson a couple times why the Senate bill wasn't amnesty. Of course Richardson isn't going to call it amnesty. If Blitzer wanted to do a public service - instead of pushing his or someone else's agenda - he might have asked how it would be perceived by the millions and millions of prospective illegal aliens around the world. Or, he might have asked about the $2.5 trillion net retirement cost projected by Robert Rector. Instead, all he did was ask them puffball questions and then stand there while they gave their speeches; he might as well have simply asked them to read their websites to the audience.
Then, he asked about English as the official language, prompting some of the Dems to only support making it a national language. Obama calls him on "the kind of question that is designed precisely to divide us" and that serve as a "distract[ion]". Puffball Blitzer could have followed up with a discussion of language ghettos, far-left multiculturalism, and so forth but he did not. And, such questions are indeed a distraction in a way other than how Obama meant it: it helps hacks like Blitzer avoid discussing things like a $2.5 trillion net retirement cost or the political power the Mexican government has in the U.S. or how massive illegal immigration is indicative of massive political corruption or all the other things that a lightweight, establishment hack like Blitzer wants to avoid discussing.