Finally, A Real Debate

Sweeps is here! Sweeps is here! Hooray for new, and worthwhile, episodes of our favorite TV shows! Seeing as I watch entirely too much television, I thought I could write yet another post about them.

As far as I know, last night seemed to be the official kick-off of NBC’s sweeps month. If you haven’t heard, they pulled off a live-taping of The West Wing. But it was better than just a regular episode of TWW, this one featured Presidential Candidates, Congressman Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits) and Senator Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda), in a fictional Presidential Debate.***

The debate was held in front of a live audience (with some planted actors, of course), and to lend more credibility to the show, Forrest Sawyer was the moderator. Another great thing was that it was held without commercial interruption – except for the half-hour commercial break.

The great part about the show was the “dumbing down” of political issues for people like me to grasp and understand. I’m not a news-junkie and I rarely stay on top of current events. And when it comes to politics, guh, I’m a full-blown idiot. This show, though fictional, painted a good portrait of what some issues are and the stances from both the Left and Right.

I really enjoyed the show, I could’ve watched it for at least another hour... but the format of the show raises a question. Why can’t we have debates like this anymore? For the most part, we have political minds that can speak to many issues and give solid, well-thought, answers. Why do we have to have watered-down versions of debates?

At work, when we have issues about campaign directions, or creative executions, we don’t have to follow timer-rules to get our point across. When arguing with friends, you don’t have to allow rebuttal if your argument is compelling enough. Let’s get real again and have real debates. No strange formats, just the two (or three, or four) candidates debating the issues. Let the public decide which side they’re on. Hopefully they decide that based on the plain and simple answers they hear... as if we’ll ever get plain and simple answers from politicians.

*** If you don’t watch the show, this is an election year and these two are jockeying for position to become the President. The ultra cool thing is that both Smits and Alda claim to not know what’s going to happen to their characters. This means that only the writers know where the show is going – could it be another Democratic White House, or a changed Republican one?

+ original post date: November 7, 2005 09:10 AM
+ categories: Television


(comments rss feed)

We can't have real debates like this because the "real" debates are even more scripted and rehearsed than last night's fictional debate.

+ author: Bob
+ posted: November 7, 2005 11:21 AM

Heh, true that. Or, sometimes the debaters wear an earpiece and radio transmitter... just in case the rehearsed lines are forgotten.

+ author: Seth
+ posted: November 7, 2005 11:28 AM

post a comment



 Remember Me?

* (you may use HTML tags for style)

* Denotes required field