Thursday, December 13, 2007


Iowa Public TV Should Loose Federal Funding

Johnston, IA (Dec.13, 2007 TBC) “A rose by any other name is still a rose”. Iowa Public Television clearly demonstrated the same does not hold true for a “debate”. While a debate is not a rose it doesn’t have to be a turd. What was billed as a GOP Candidates Debate, conducted and aired by IPTV yesterday afternoon was as far removed from what is conventionally considered to be a debate as the pitiful moderator,Carolyn Washburn, is from Jim Lehrer. Somehow, Ms. Washburn has been able to achieve the position of Editor at the Des Moines Register. She actually makes Yepsen look gifted by comparison and that isn't saying much. It is no wonder that this waste of time was broadcast live at 2:00 PM local time. Had this crap aired during prime time there would have been TV’s tossed out of windows into icy roads across the state.

Granted, virtually all events conducted in the political process today designated as “debates” are nothing like debates in the literal sense. The formats vary as do the rules, hosts and degree to which the opportunity for actual debate is allowed. This sham yesterday was the oddest incarnation of a debate televised thus far in what has been an overabundance of half-assed, YouTube driven, assemblies of candidates on various stages this year.

Being that this event was the final opportunity for a debate prior to the Iowa Caucuses on January 3, 2008, this would have been a great venue to have the leading candidates define, detail and defend their positions on substantive issues. This was truly a missed opportunity. IPTV blew their chance to show the nation that they are a serious journalistic, reporting enterprise not just some federally funded mouthpiece for crop and commodity reports, children’s programming and The Red Green Show. The average voter is all too aware that there is a plethora of vitally important domestic and international issues our next president will face because our current one has spent the last seven years with his empty head up his ass.

The IPTV “debate” was, by far, the oddest format with the most bizarre ground rules yet seen. The moderator looked more like the female warden in some B-grade movie was as competent and effective a moderator as would have been Paris Hilton. Aside from her grime demeanor and hostile enforcement of strict time allotments per candidates answer, she was downright frightening to look at. She obviously attended the Katherine Harris School of make-up application; based on the color of her cheeks, she was either suffering from frostbite of a 107 degree fever.

While the cornerstone principals of democracy must be maintained throughout the body politic, particularly in the presidential nominating process, this late in the game, perhaps some discretion should have been exercised when invitations to participate were sent out. Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul have most likely ridden their respective ego-fueled horses as far as they will go. And then there was Alan Keyes. If having filed candidacy papers, having an office and one staffer in Iowa is sufficient criteria for the folks at IPTV to give him a podium, it is amazing that there were only seven participants. Alan Keyes presence was a waste of time; his irrelevance makes his participation even more absurd. His thoughts and style are far better suited for one of the half-witted shout fests like Hardball or any of the trash aired on FOX News.

One rule that was not in effect and usually is not was that the candidates should be required to answer questions with specifics. Duncan Hunter can easily spew out broad statements like “I will strengthen our military. I will return good paying jobs to America. I will secure our borders” and other such horseshit. Noble ambitions all but, the follow up question to every platitude uttered should automatically be “How”? All the candidates are guilty of regurgitating long lists of all that they would accomplish if elected. Why are they not compelled to tell the American public exactly how they intend to accomplish their goals? When the Moderator with the Mommy Dearest make-up asked the participants to provide a New Year’s resolution suggestion for one of their fellow candidates, not one of them did so. This is a minor point to be sure because the question, like most of them, was idiotic. By pre-arranged agreement, no questioning related to Iraq or immigration was permitted. What kind of shit is that? Arguably, these are two of the more prominent issues on voters’ minds.

The democratic candidates will have their turn on IPTV today. If any of them have any sense or self respect, they would call IPTV and inform them that they have better ways to waste an afternoon in Iowa. Lord knows, Carolyn Washburn, the inept moderator clearly needs some time off, among other things such as remedial courses in Journalism 101, Public Speaking and telling time.

Cletus E. Yoder writing for TBC.

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