Disingenuous Debate Analysis From HuffPo
By Big Tent Democrat
Speaking for me only
I think well of Nico Pitney, but this post is a bad show from him. Nico argues that the ABC Debate was unlike any other. But how does he do this? He only looks at the last four debates (2 by CNN, one by NBC and the ABC Debate.) From this analysis, Pitney argues that ABC was unlike any other. But Pitney's cherry picking reveals the problem:
Policy Non-Policy Scandal
CNN (1/31) 31 3 1
CNN (2/21) 23 5 2
NBC 24 17 5
ABC 32 14 13
Even with this cherry picking, Pitney's own data proves the point - NBC in its post SNL debate in Cleveland, when it would have been on its best behavior, had 22 non-policy questions. (Pitney's "scandal" designation seems rather convenient to me.) Moreover, Pitney ignores the 20 odd debates PRIOR to January 31, 2008 and PRIOR to the SNL debate skit. He particularly ignores the infamous October 30, 2007 NBC Debate. By doing that, Pitney makes his analysis a mockery. He is better than this disingenuous post. More . . .
Pitney is particularly foolish when he writes:
The debate famously mocked by Saturday Night Live was actually very favorable to Clinton. In the SNL rendition, CNN's February debate was a mix of aggressive, biting questions to Hillary Clinton and softballs to Barack Obama. In fact, the candidates received identical or virtually identical questions about Cuba policy, immigration, bilingualism, the economy, Iraq, and earmarks. . .
Umm, I am PRETTY SURE SNL was not mocking the CNN Debate but the ENTIRE Media coverage of the campaign. In particular, as Pitney well knows, it has been NBC in particular that is known as the Obama News Network.
I do not know what inspired Pitney to deny the obvious but he does himself and the credible arguments against the ABC Debate no favors with this nonsensical post.
For those who do not remember, here is the transcript to the worst debate ever held. It started thusly:
MR. WILLIAMS: Senator Obama, we'll begin with you.
You gave an interview to The New York Times over the weekend pledging in it to be more aggressive, to be tougher in your campaign against your chief rival for the nomination, the leader among Democrats so far, Senator Clinton, who is here next to you tonight.
To that end, Senator, you said that Senator Clinton was trying to sound Republican, trying to vote Republican on national security issues, and that was, quote, "bad for the country and ultimately bad for the Democrats." That is a strong charge, as you're aware.
Specifically, what are the issues where you, Senator Obama, and Senator Clinton have differed, where you think she has sounded or voted like a Republican?
It was downhill from there.
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