Just had a great talk about the debate and the campaign with a guy I met at the mixer Tuesday night. He seemed to echo a point Andrew Sullivan (via Tiger at Home via Instapundit) made about the debate. Well, Andrew called it “a debacle for the network,” but my acquaintance said ABC News came out the real loser.
This blogger called ABC the “real loser at debate.” I could have sworn I read that line when I, in the middle of the night unable to sleep, read web reviews of the Democratic exchange. (Got that link via google.)
I didn’t watch enough of the debate to judge whether or not ABC had been unfair and thought Charles Gibson seemed pretty even-handed, though asking tough (albeit mostly fair) questions. What struck me was that that former Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos was the only other moderators.
If that ABC News correspondent had any sense of decency or fair play, he would have recused himself from moderating this debate for the simple reason that the husband of one of the participants (former president Bill Clinton) gave him the political job that would later allow him to pursue this career as a journalist.
Can you imagine he outcry if FoxNews asked Karl Rove to moderate a debate in which Jeb Bush participated should that former Florida Governor ever make a bid for the White House?
Perhaps, the lefty bloggers are right and the moderators were too harsh on Senator Obama. (New York Times columnist David Brooks disagrees.) On the surface, the fact that a former Clinton aide was one of only two moderators (and the other hadn’t worked for her rival) struck me as unfair.
To keep up at least the appearance of fairness, I suggest Stephanopoulos recuse himself from covering the presidential campaign as long as Hillary is competing.