The general consensus about last night's Democratic debate is that the media came off looking the worst. That consensus is based on, of course, media reaction. Alessandra Stanley read some odd "disgruntled employee/imperious boss dynamic between Mr. Stephanopoulos and Mrs. Clinton" but everyone else just saw two moderators asking the most inane, navel-gaving, pointless, content-free, media-obsessed questions ever. Then some petty sniping between the two candidates while they each tried to out-exasperate the other. It was grim.
Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales is particularly harsh (and rightly so) on the moderators. "[Charlie] Gibson sat there peering down at the candidates over glasses perched on the end of his nose, looking prosecutorial and at times portraying himself as a spokesman for the working class." And: "The boyish Stephanopoulos, who has done wonders with the network's Sunday morning hour, 'This Week' (as, indeed, has Gibson with the nightly 'World News'), looked like an overly ambitious intern helping out at a subcommittee hearing, digging through notes for something smart-alecky and slimy." Zing!
George Stephanopoulos appeared on ABC's own Good Morning America today to smugly praise his ability to get Hillary to grudgingly say that Obama could beat McCain, while pointing out that the question was entirely pointless because there's no chance she's going to say "no."
The blog comment takeaway: Obama received a harsher grilling on more inane topics, and also ended up looking a bit better than Clinton.
Also a couple years from now we're going to get another round of those terrible "oh we are so ashamed of how we acted back then" pieces from the idiots who cover the campaign, just like we got after 2000 and 2004. Ugh.