Last week, Eric wrote:
Believe it or not, there are more than four of five Americans who are qualified to moderate a debate. It's time for the commission to branch out and tap other talent.
Here's a good sign he's right: On Meet the Press yesterday, VP debate moderator Gwen Ifill said Sarah Palin "more than ignored" her questions, adding, "Blew me off i think is the technical term." As Brad DeLong notes, it's one thing for Ifill to say three days later that Palin wasn't answering the questions asked of her -- but she should have done it during the debate:
When you are running a debate, and when one participant doesn't answer your questions. You say: "governor, please answer my question." Gwen Ifill didn't do that.
Debate, Yale style.
Despite running an anti-media campaign, and despite columnists like Richard Cohen and Joe Klein announcing their public break-ups with McCain, the GOP candidate won't have trouble re-igniting the Beltway media's passion after Nov. 4, according to Michael Shaffer at TNR:
Candidates like John McCain don't have to change their behavior when the pundits get on their high horses. They know that their reputations will be bailed out eventually.
This is pretty remarkable, and continues the disturbing newsroom trend of Beltway reporters being incapable of turning their attention away from the campaign, regardles of breaking news events.
For the week of Sept. 22-28, when Wall Street was collapsing, historic bailouts were being negotiated and news consumer interest in the topic of the economy reached record heights, cable TV still devoted more time to the campaign (51%) than any other news story that week.
That's the right-wing, anti-Muslim DVD that's being stuffed into millions of Sunday newspapers in swing states across the country and continues to cause controversy. Critics fear the biased documentary may be leading to violence against Muslims.
Newspapers that accept money from the DVD's backers to distribute the fear-mongering film insists they can't reject the insert based on content. But lots of leading newspapers, including the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Detroit Free Press, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and The News & Record of Greensboro, N.C., have done just that.
And the publisher of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel now says that if forced to make the decision again, her paper would not distribute the DVD.
More problematic is the fact that several newspaper that have distributed the DVD have also written up front page news articles explaining the decision, thereby providing the right-wing backers of the film a day's worth of free publicity.
The WaPo's fact checking of Joe Biden's health care comments during the debate (i.e his "significant omissions or exaggerations") was way off the mark, writes Gene Sperling at HuffPost:
They got the Pinocchios completely backwards in this case. As good fact checkers, I hope the Post will review their analysis and admit that they got this one wrong.
Well, not no audience, technically. But given the unfolding blockbuster business news story, you'd think FBN would see a nice extended spike in viewers. Y'know, like CNBC.
Instead, FBN's viewership remains stuck in the mid-five figures while CNBS has flirted wtih 1 million viewers during key moments in the bailout crisis.
BAGnewsNotes takes a look.
When you don't schedule a debate for Friday night--record viewing.
Hopefully, that will put to rest the lazy, utterly predictable press performance regarding Biden and its really, really, really tired attempt to blow up minor campaign utterances of his into so-called gaffes.