Sunday, April 20, 2008
Say what you will about the lackluster performance of both Democratic candidates at Wednesday night's presidential debate in Philadelphia. But the performance of ABC News, the event's host, and its moderators George Stephanopoulos and Charlie Gibson, was an even greater embarrassment. Staphanopoulos relished stooping to the lowest common denominator in showcasing the candidates' most insignificant campaign hurdles, while his partner in crime, Gibson, with his glasses dangling off his nose like a sanctimonious Geppetto, followed up his pompous U.S. Constitution quotes with National Enquirer-like drivel. The initial half of the debate focused on "BosniaGate," "BitterGate," Rev. Wright, The Weather Underground, flag pins, tigers and bears, oh my.....
But ponder this for a moment. Amid this pathetic yellow journalism circus, what if one of the candidates, in a Howard Beale "I'm mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore" moment, had turned to the moderators and said:
"Charlie, George, with all due respect to you and ABC News, this line of questioning is both a colossal waste of time and not only an insult to me and (the other candidate), but especially to the American people. Are these truly the best, most relevant, most important questions you could be asking us at this critical moment? Our nation is mired in a horrible war, where 4000 of our brave soldiers have been killed, and where a half-trillion dollars has been spent. After 45 minutes you have yet to ask us about this war and its impact on the American people. Shame on you. We are fighting a war against terrorists in Afghanistan, and watching al Qaeda and the Taliban get stronger there while Bush and the Republicans have squandered our precious military and financial resources in Iraq. Not one question about this so far. Shame on you. Our economy is teetering on recession, with stagnant wages, anemic employment, record debt, rising inflation, $4 gas prices, astronomical home fuel costs, record mortgage foreclosures...Americans are being strangled, struggling to put food on their tables and make ends meet...and you spent the past 45 minutes on BosnniaGate and Bittergate? Shame on you. 47-million Americans are without health care. Our education system is bankrupt. And half of this debate has gone by with not one single question about any of these major issues. Shame on you. This event is an affront to every hard working American who's struggling to survive. Voters don't care about this nonsense. They want jobs, higher wages, adequate health care, proper education for their children, lower gas prices, affordable housing, safety and security from terrorists, and an end to the carnage in Iraq. Unless we can begin discussing those issues, I will be forced to leave the stage... and will invite my fellow candidate to join me....."
Just imagine that moment for a second. Had one of the two Dems made this statement, rather than meakly allow themselves to be subjected to 45 minutes of sensational, ad hominem bullshit, they would've scored a political grand slam, and their poll numbers would've gone through the friggin' roof. ABC, Stephanopoulos and Gibson would've deserved every second of it. And voters at home would've finally gotten to see what at least one of them was truly made of.
On another note, we could use your help at The The Adrienne Shelly Foundation. We are a tax-exempt, non-profit organization dedicated in my wife's honor to help carry out her spirit and passion, with the goal of assisting women filmmakers. Adrienne was brutally killed in NYC on November 1, 2006. Through the Foundation, her commitment to filmmaking lives on. We've established scholarships, grants, finishing funds and living stipends at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts/Kanbar Institute of Film; Columbia University; American Film Institute; Women in Film; the Independent Feature Project; the Nantucket Film Festival; and the Sundance Institute. We're very pleased to announce that one of last year's grant recipients, Cynthia Wade, just won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject for "Freeheld." We are proud of Cynthia and to have supported this film. Your generous contribution will go a long way towards helping us continue to achieve our very important mission.