Thursday, October 2, 2008

Moderate Fakeroversy

Ah, another day, another fake controversy (also known, by me, as a fakeroversy) rears its head in the election world. A world which, quite frankly, I'm really glad I'm not a part of other than that of annoyed and distrusting spectator. Today's fakeroversy brought to you by that Michele Malkin chick. Yes, shocking. I know.

Do you know who Gwen Ifill is? No? Good, then that makes all of us. Gwen Ifill (pronounced, I'm assuming, like the Tower) is an author and, according to a one David Bauder of the AP, a PBS journalist. Now, I don't know if there is a difference between a PBS journalist and a journalist who works for PBS, that's just what the article said. Regardless, this Gwen woman seems to be very accomplished, having held positions at "The New York Times, the Washington Post and NBC News." In addition to that "She moderated the 2004 vice presidential debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards." And after the vice presidential debate on Thursday, she'll be able to add moderator of that to her resume as well. That is also the dock from which the USS Fakeroversy will be launched.

See, Gwen is writing a book, scheduled to be released on January 20, 2009 the day of the Inauguration, and is tentatively called "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama". Catchy. "Age of Obama". Is that like the Age of Aquarius? Probably not, huh? Well, whatever it means, the book itself, according to the description over at "...surveys the American political landscape, shedding new light on the impact of Barack Obama's stunning presidential campaign and introducing the emerging young African American politicians forging a bold new path to political power." OK, fair enough. So what's up Michele Malkin's ass about it? Guess.

You got it. She thinks that Gwen should not be the moderator for the debate because, according to what she wrote in the New York Post, Ifill is "so far in the tank for the Democratic presidential candidate, her oxygen delivery line is running out." Um, wait. What?

First of all, that analogy, that simile, that comparison, allegory, whatever the hell it was, that doesn't make any sense. I mean, this hypothetical "tank" that she mentions.....there's no oxygen there? What kind of a "tank" is it, exactly? Fish? Septic? Sherman? (It's clearly not a THINK tank.) She needs a delivery of oxygen, via a line? What the hell is an "oxygen delivery line"? Each one of those words conjures up a different image for me. Oxygen = Oxygen TV Network. Delivery = childbirth. Line = conga. So, in my head, I have a conga line of pregnant women giving birth on the Oxygen channel. It's not pretty. Nor is it accurate. But that's about how much sense that comment made.

Aside from the colorful parables that she tries to spin, is she unaware of what a debate moderator does? The only reason that they're called "moderators" is because "question asking person" didn't sound important enough. That's what they do. They sit there at that little table, shrouded in mostly darkness with a heavenly light shining down upon them and they shuffle their papers a lot. (I think that's because they really need more light than just that one beam they're getting there. You people can't light the place up? Is this some environmental, go-green, save the planet thing? Can't you just use those swirly ass light bulbs and make it so they can see?) Then they ask the question. Then they sit there while the question is answered. Then, when the little egg timer goes off, they get their egg and then they tell the other person that they can answer the question. It's not hard! It's very simple.

And it's very simple for a reason. That's because, in general, people in politics are idiots. A lot of the debates tend to play out like a bad episode of "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" (And the answer is almost always "No".) The only people more idiotic than the politicians themselves (usually) are the commentators, the analysts, the talk show pundits and Michelle Malkin. Not necessarily in that order, mind you. Anyway, it HAS to be a simple format otherwise instead of a debate, we'd be treated to something that would turn out to be akin to a WWF match with suits and ties flailing about. And I will totally admit, I would rather see THAT than the debates that we do end up seeing. Absolutely. I'll take WWF Debating over BAP (Boring Ass Politician) Debating any day. But I am, sadly, the only one voting for that format, so instead they go with a moderator.

What does Malkin think Gwen Ifill is going to DO at the debate, exactly? I guess I can assume that, since she's "in the tank for Obama" she would do things like.....what? Flirt with Joe Biden? ("Close enough! And might I also say that is a lovely tie you're wearing tonight! Did you do something with your hair? Get your teeth whitened? You look great!" ::wink:: ::wink::) Give Joe Biden really easy questions like, "Senator Biden, what is the name of your running mate? Barack Obama IS correct! Very good, Senator!" And then give Sarah Palin questions like, "Governor Palin, what is the cubed root of 54,321? NO. You can't use a paper and pencil OR that fancy little calculator on your Blackberry. Maybe you should show Senator McCain how the Blackberry works, since he keeps talking into a basket of fruit whenever he hears the phone ring and he goes to answer his Blackberry. And while I have your attention, would you please stop saying 'Well, this is how we do it in Alaska.' I'm tired of reminding you, Governor, you're not IN Alaska anymore! Get over it!" I find all of those things extremely unlikely to occur at the hands of Gwen Ifill, the impartial debate moderator.

When asked to comment on the fakeroversy, Ifill responded (in a way that should make anyone who might have thought that maybe they should be concerned about this realize that she's extremely intelligent, sees what's going on, and will do a fine job), "I've got a pretty long track record covering politics and news, so I'm not particularly worried that one-day blog chatter is going to destroy my reputation. The proof is in the pudding. They can watch the debate tomorrow night and make their own decisions about whether or not I've done my job." A most excellent answer. I DO like pudding!

I don't understand some people. Actually, I don't understand a lot of people. But the ones that really have my scratching my head are the people who try to make something out of nothing, seemingly for the purpose of promoting themselves. The problem with that is there are too many soft-headed individuals out there who will fall for anything and believe anything that they read (assuming they can read. Soft headed individuals? Not the sharpest tools in the shed.), especially if that something is on the Internet.

Gwen Ifill also has a broken foot or ankle or some bone below the knee. Since she's not moderating Dancing With The Stars, I think that will also be a non issue as well. So with no controversies surrounding the moderator, just watch the debate. After all, Joe Biden is a rather charming fellow who has an excellent sense of humor. And I've heard that Sarah Palin is a kick ass debater. And I'm hoping that she really is. But I'll tell you this much right now: If she mentions that she can see Russia from her house, someone needs to call time out and get Tina Fey in there in her place immediately. After all, at that point, we might as well get some entertainment out of the whole thing one last time before the election rolls around.

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