Did ABC Lose the Debate?

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The snippets of last night's debate that I saw were pretty awful. And I wasn't suprised to see that Barack Obama-supporting members of the left-wing blogosphere roundly hammered ABC for the show. I was, however, a little surprised to see ABC get a beat-down from professionally certified journalists, including Tom Shales at the Washington Post and Alessandra Stanley at the Times.

Then again, I take sheer delight in watching someone in the media put Obama on the spot. He seemed a little shocked that he couldn't simply declare a topic over and have it be so. Yes, ABC shouldn't have a former Clinton employee as one of the debate moderators. And perhaps worrying over flag-pins and Jeremiah Wright seems trivial, but I was of the feeling that if these two were asked about "real issues" we'd get nothing more than overly rehearsed and purposely vague dribble we've seen in the previous 11,000 debates. So let ABC poke and poke and poke until one or both candidates started screaming. Consider it a test of character.

But my colleague Ira Teinowitz not only thinks I'm wrong, he's come up with a list of questions that have me nearly convinced I'm wrong. (No small feat!)

Ira said there were a host of questions relevant to the Pennsylvania voters and those relevant to national voters that either haven't been asked or have been glossed over.
  • What can the government really do to bring back jobs (if anything)?
  • Can the U.S. really penalize companies that move jobs overseas?
  • What about big pay for corporate execs compared to low wages for workers?
  • What about rising food prices?
  • Are there practical measures for the U.S. to take regarding oil prices?
  • Would you prosecute anyone in the Bush people over torture?
  • Some people suggest the U.S. is falling behind in technology because the web isn't as fast here as overseas. What would you do?
  • You're both against No Child Left behind, but should the U.S. drop regulation on schools entirely?
  • Neither of you are pushing gun control, at the same time the U.S. has had a spate of shootings in schools. What should we be doing if we don't control guns?
  • What do you think these airline mergers will mean for American workers? What should be done about the airline industry?
Those were just a few of the questions.
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