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day permlink Thursday, 8 May 2003

permlink Clinton, Dole, Stewart, Matthews, Letterman, Leno

'60 Minutes' may veto Clinton-Dole face-offs [USA Today]

The Clinton-Dole segment really hasn't lived up to its promise; it's way too scripted and stilted. I'd much rather see three minutes of them speaking face to face than two minutes of them each smirking and sniping at the teleprompter.

The other night Chris Matthews was on The Daily Show arguing with Jon Stewart that hyper shows like 'Hardball' and 'Crossfire' are what people want to see, not shows with relatively calm people "discussing Plato and Socrates". I wish the usually quick-minded Stewart had poked him a little harder on that point; Stewart wasn't saying that shows should become more concerned with 'academic' topics, just that people need not cast political discussion as a grudge match or sport.

Yes, I would enjoy watching people yell at each other about Santorum more than I would a Latin Philosophy course, but that wasn't the question. I'd rather see serious discussion of Santorum's position than either of the other options. It was a skillfully dishonest, self-serving deflection by Matthews.

It's no wonder there are more stories about people getting their news from the late-night comedies; in many ways it's just a better environment for discussion. The tone of the discussion in Stewart's recent interviews with political figures (and any time a politician goes on Letterman) can surely be irreverent, but I've never seen it descend into the wrestling-match mentality that's all over the rest of the cable dial.

(The modern political discourse, such as it is, reminds me of nothing so much as the loathing between fans of opposing sports teams turned up seven notches. Disagreement with one side must mean you love the other team. Bugger that; my world's not that limited, and yours shouldn't be either.)

Leno has never impressed me with his sycophantic treatment of people in office. He sometimes asks serious questions, but rarely presses a guest for more than their prepared soundbite on any given topic. When Letterman and Stewart have public figures on the show, they engage them in a real dialogue without getting as pushy as O'Reilly or Matthews. I think it's a much better approach. permlink     1 comment(s)  
This really should be a comment for the post below, but ah well. Regarding the Indy DVD's, you might enjoy this. As for this post, I'm consistently surprised by the fact that Chris Matthews was one of Nader's Raiders.
      ...posted by Kevin on May 9, 2003 11:51 AM
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permlink Odds etc.

Interesting links from the last little bit:

A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday.
-- Jonathan Swift, Thoughts on Various Subjects


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