(Article changed on October 5, 2012 at 08:38)
PBS front man Jim Lehrer turned in yet another dismal performance in the first round of the Presidential karaoke show which now passes for live debate in this country.
We don't know how much he was paid for last night's performance, but whatever it was it was way too much. He totally failed to control the questioning and came across as a star stuck schoolboy who was way out of his depth. You almost wondered if he was sitting on a pile of books and still wearing
The nation's talking heads and other media pundits in their rush to evaluate Romney & Obama have completely overlooked the importance (or rather lack) of the third person in the camera's view. Referees are a vital & integral part of any sporting event, and let's face it, that's what the Presidential debates have degenerated into.
Lehrer by his own
At least Obama had the good manners to recognize Lehrer's inadequacies and maintained the bemused indifference of an academic bored by the struggling efforts of a underachieving student -- which is basically his default mode these days. Romney on the other hand proved to be something of a bully and came over as a cross between an overly enthusiastic
Most people watching the debate thought that Romney got the better of the President but anyone listening on the radio actually heard a more nuanced version in which Obama scored highly by pointing out that Romney's figures just don't add up.
Television has a built in flaw in which words & facts often becoming meaningless to the visual content -- it's as if our brains have still not evolved beyond those of our caveman ancestors in order to integrate sight & sound together. The glimpse of a tiger will always trump the rustling of the leaves when it comes to sensing a trap.
That said, Obama's performance came across as very pedestrian and lacked any passion. At certain points it was as if someone had flicked a switch and the President looked straight at the camera and like an automaton spewed out an over-rehearsed party line.
In reality there was NO debate! Both candidates support the status quo. Romney wants to turn the clock back to a previous Republican ascendency and Obama wants to bring on more of the same from his past four years -- both are recipes for failure. Voting for either candidate and believing the outcome is going to be different is a sure sign of the collective insanity which currently grips the electorate.