ABC: Thompson’s Debate ‘Tantrum’ — There’s Fair and Balanced Reporting!


By: Warner Todd Huston

ABC proved once again that they will use language to flavor reporting to promulgate their ideological position instead of just reporting the facts. After Wednesday’s GOP debate in Iowa, ABC news posted a Political Radar blog entry calling attention to Fred Thompson’s efforts to improve the depth of debate held that day. Calling Thompson’s efforts a “Tantrum,” ABC seeks to cast Thompson’s sensible and adult desire to engage in real debate as a child’s temper tantrum. Does ABC want real debate or do they want dumbed down, name calling or simple minded sound byte replies? I think you can easily decide which!

If you didn’t see the debate and missed what it is that Thompson did, there is a video available ton YouTube.com so you can see for yourself. But, in essence, Thompson refused to do a “show of hands” answer to the question of whether or not the candidates agree with the theory of man-made global warming. He felt that this important issue needed an actual reply. The gall of him, eh?

So, since Thompson felt that important issues need in depth discussion and not silly, childish “show of hands” answers and because he refused to participate, ABC terms his serious concern a “tantrum.”

But, once you find out what Thompson really said about his actions on the debate stage, there is a great ring of truth and seriousness about it.

“I just decided that I wasn’t going to engage in any of this monkey business that they like to engage us on sometimes — making us look like trained monkeys reaching for peanut or something … 30 seconds is brief enough and when they try to reduce your answer to just a hand raise — I ‘aint going to play that game,” the former Tennessee senator said.

During this afternoon’s debate, the GOP candidates were asked to raise their hands if they thought climate change was a serious threat caused by human activity. Thompson spoke up saying he didn’t want to answer without time explain himself.

Thompson says he’s gearing up for the next two weeks leading up to January 3rd. When asked by reporters about his chances in the Iowa caucus, Thompson said he believes voters are “beginning to pay attention” now to the elections and feels he will be in “good shape.”

“The real campaign is just beginning,” Thomspon said.

These are substantive and serious points made by candidate Thompson and his principled refusal to play the moderator’s empty headed game deserves applause in stead of derision. Yet, ABC dismisses this serious position as a “tantrum”?

So much for the seriousness of one of our largest media organizations and how they treat the news. So much for giving the voters as much information on a candidate’s views as possible.

I say it’s about time we got some candidates that don’t want to speak in sound bytes but want serious discussion of the issues. If that is throwing a “tantrum” then we need more of it.

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