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Postman on Politics

Chief political reporter David Postman explores state, regional and national politics.

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April 17, 2008 4:06 PM

What'd you think of last night's debate?

Posted by David Postman

I missed the broadcast of last night’s Clinton/Obama debate. I feel bad about that because it appears I missed a real important event in the annals of television. This stinker will be talked about for years, just like that episode of the Newlywed Game everyone over 40 claims to have seen.

Really, someone asked about American flag pins? ABC let that question on the air? For those of you who are routinely frustrated by my lack of opinions on the news, let me say this clearly: I don’t care about American flag pins. I didn’t care when news ethicists were unhappy that newscasters sported them post-9/11 and I don’t care which politicians wear them or don’t wear them or wear them on the wrong lapel, or whether female politicians wear big, bejeweled, American flags, or not. I wouldn’t care if the flag pins waved themselves and sang God Bless America. In fact, this may be one of my deepest held beliefs. I put effort into not caring. I can exhaust myself not caring.

ABC headlines the story, “Fight night in Philly,” so the network got what it wanted. But the hardest punches come in the 16,778 comments posted by readers at the ABC News Web site. Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos both come in for a pummeling. (And why didn’t Obama say anything during the debate about Stephanopoulos’ time with the Clintons? He could have started an answer with something like, “Well George, as you surely know from years working for the Clintons …”)

For a different take, see also where debate reaction is the top story with 100 comments.

The story that lead ABC’s Web site a few minutes ago was headlined, Clinton: ‘No whining from Hillary.’

"When I watched that debate last night, I got kinda tickled," the former President said at an American Legion Hall event in St. Mary's, Pennsylvania. "After the [debate], her opponents', oh, the people working were saying, 'Oh this is so negative, why are they doing this.' Well they've been beatin' up on her for 15 months. I didn't hear her whining when he said she was untruthful in Iowa or called her the senator from Punjab."

Stephanopoulos told The Associated Press:

The questions were tough and fair and appropriate and relevant. We wanted to focus at first on the issues that were not focused on during the last debates.

It’s enough to make me miss the snowman.

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