You know how the American public is sick of "politics as usual"? Well so yesterday I had a feeling I wanted to stay away from the Democratic Primary debate in Pennsylvania but it seems like Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos were determined to poison me anyway and somewhere between Bosnia and Bittergate and a half-carafe and 13 irate text messages and emails about how awful it all was I became gravely ill. Was it more despicable or shameful or simply Shakespearian, with Hillary playing Lady Macbeth and Obama playing the part of...uh...a "cucumber: a highly alert cucumber, but not one which was frightened of being sliced up and turned into sandwiches"? Did they disgrace the already disgraced enough profession of journalism? Or was it just all the commercial breaks? After the jump, Megan and I try not to hurl but this David Brooks column makes it sort of impossible.
MOE: so tell me what happened at these famous debates. i'm barely capable of holding up my head.
MEGAN: Dude, I am SO AWAKE this morning because when I got up slightly hungover and walked into my bathroom, I was greeted by my apartment's official harbinger of warm weather: the single cockroach that each year finds its way into my apartment.
MOE: oh GOD boric acid boric acid eeek gross i'm sorry
MEGAN: Yeah, 6 months ago I sprayed every inch of the bathroom with some terribly carcinogenic anti-bug thing, so it was only half alive. It nonetheless scared the crap out of me.
However, I have to say, that carcinogenic stuff is only supposed to last 6 months so hooray cancer! and buh-bye roaches.
Anyway, so, the debates. If you actually wanted to see them talk about their differences on issues, you probably should've just re-watched the Ohio one.
MOE: The booooing thing sounds kind of historic
MEGAN: You mean, when the audience booed the commercial break?
MOE: This thing says they booed charlie gibson.
MEGAN: Because he sucked. And because he lost the coin toss to Snuffleupaugus and kept having to do the bumper to commercial.
MOE: Fox News doesn't seem to have a verdict on who "won"
MEGAN: Fox News is the only one, then. The papers and MSNBC have awarded it to Hillary because ABC grilled Obama more or something. I think it's just because he stuck with the whole "the American people are tired of this kid of politics" theme and didn't sic her when offered the opportunity on a platter and Hilary, like me, tends to dig right into some bloody, rare meat served up on a platter.
MOE: Tom Shales called the two of them "despicable"
which is kinda cool.
MEGAN: Aw, Snuffleupaugus wasn't as bad as "despicable" would suggest. I'm sure he didn't write his own questions.
MOE: I got some kind of confused emails and text messages throughout...such as THIS DEBATE IS THE MOST RIDICULOUS THING I HAVE EVER SEEN. YOU CANNOT 'BELIEVE' THE QUESTIONS STEPHANOPOULOUS AND CHARLIE GIBSON ARE ASKING. I AM ASHAMED AT THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA. PLEASE BLOG THIS IN YOUR CRAPPY HOUR - I'M SURE ALL THE BLOGS WILL BE DISCUSSING IT ALL NIGHT. IT'S A DISGRACE.
and "ummmm, is this thing as big a waste of time as it is for the candidates as it is for me?" etc etc
This is the most
hilarious recap though.
MEGAN: I have to say, I drank last night so it wasn't a total waste of time. A lovely French red.
If Hillary Clinton had not gone into politics it is possible to imagine her as a brilliant actor, whose Lady Macbeth would come to be seen as definitive....He looked as cool as a cucumber: a highly alert cucumber, but not one which was frightened of being sliced up and turned into sandwiches.
MEGAN: Yum. Cucumber sandwiches.
MOE: Here's Shales:
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. He came up with such tired tripe as a charge that Obama once associated with a nutty bomb-throwing anarchist. That was "40 years ago, when I was 8 years old," Obama said with exasperation.
MEGAN: I think calling her Lady Macbeth is a little over the line, though.
"Come, you spirits / That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here"? I mean, she does have Chelsea after all. Also, she has not descended into actual madness.
I love how Snuffleupaugus gets called boyish even though he's old enough to be my dad. It's just because he's short, and that's not cool.