I am disgusted. I watched the Democratic Debate last night between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and have nothing but respect for these two leaders for the courage to put themselves up to our scrutiny and choice for the next President of the USA.

I feel totally different about Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, the moderators of the event. They had the responsibility to ask questions that might help voters in Pennsylvania make an intelligent choice about perhaps the most important job in the world. Instead of asking questions about the vital issues of our day, the war, the economy, health care, global warming, etc. etc. etc., they spent over half the time asking stupid ‘gotcha’ questions. This took a very serious and important process and brought it down to the level of “Survivor: PA Primary” – who are we voting out of the state.

Gossip magazines, sensationalist “journalism” and Fox News all are seeking to make entertainment out of the serious responsibility of journalism and in the process weakening our democracy.

A candidate stumbles some words, or makes a mistake and this becomes “today’s top story” and seems to grow a life of its own. As a voter, I am way more interested in the direction and vision a potential leader sees for our country than I am concerned about whether one wears a flag lapel pin or the other enhanced an experience in Bosnia.

We seem to get the leaders we deserve and the dumbing down of politics has resulted in a dumb war, a dumber president, a nasty recession and the notion that we can put off dealing with climate change for another 20 years!

It is about time for journalists to grow some spine and skip the sensationalist ‘gotcha’ politics and force the candidates to talk about the substantive issues facing us.


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