Thursday, April 17, 2008

Stephanopolous defends ABC; Ed Kilgore eviscerates that defense

The nasty Republican-oriented questions that Stephanopolous and Gibson threw at Obama and Clinton last night had a reason, according to Stephanopolous. They were intended to focus on the subject that ABC thinks is uppermost in Democratic voter's minds right now - who is more electable in November. Or so George stated in his defense of the disaster last night.

Ed Kilgore destroys that explanation handily.
  • Apparently Gibson and Stephanopolous know in advance what is going to make either Obama or Clinton electable next October. No one else does.
  • How does S know that is currently in the forefront of voter's minds today? Who'd he ask? Or is it just floating in the air above the heads of the inside-the-beltway political media?
  • Did they even bother to try to measure electability by head-to-head general election trial polling? (Of course not. They are the super-journalists drawing the big bucks because they are TV personalities and superior to everyone else.)
  • Did it occur to them that they could better measure electability by asking Obama and Clinton how they would go about criticizing McCain, his platform and his record? The general election isn't going to be all about "Gotcha" questions. (Hey! That'd wouldn't show what super questioners Stephanopolous and Gibson are, would it? They wouldn't get to show off like Tim Russert does.)
Ed explains what is really behind the disaster. ABC needed to beat NBC and CBS in that time slot, and conflict does that. Addressing questions the voters really want to hear the candidates address and really need to get answered just wouldn't deliver the conflict and ratings.

ABC got some ratings (but Jay Leno says American Idol still creamed them.) They also lost massive amounts of credibility.

What's the ruckus all about? Talking Points Memo presents a set of highlights from the disaster debate.

I don't always agree with Ed Kilgore, who is a Democratic Leadership Council semi-Republican. But this time he nailed it.

Digby describes how the ABC treatment of Clinton and Obama comes out to the conservative frame. Stephanopolous has bought into the frame so deeply that he does not even realize taht he is conservative attack dog instead of a journalist.

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