Tom Shales speaks for me. Although really, we are all losers when these sorts of stupid trivialities are the only things the moderators care about.
When Barack Obama met Hillary Clinton for another televised Democratic candidates’ debate last night, it was more than a step forward in the 2008 presidential election. It was another step downward for network news — in particular ABC News, which hosted the debate from Philadelphia and whose usually dependable anchors, Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, turned in shoddy, despicable performances.
For the first 52 minutes of the two-hour, commercial-crammed show, Gibson and Stephanopoulos dwelled entirely on specious and gossipy trivia that already has been hashed and rehashed, in the hope of getting the candidates to claw at one another over disputes that are no longer news. Some were barely news to begin with.
UPDATE: Greenwald analyzes the press responses and concludes:
Let the David Brooks, Roger Simons and Marc Ambinders band together and self-righteously defend this trash. As always, it’s vital to remember that they don’t actually speak for anyone other than the discredited journalist class of which they’re members.