CLBR Segment 2: News Update and Debates


Google to Block YouTube Video in Brazil

Cal Enacts Anti-Social Media Snooping Law

FTC Watch

Baseball Playoffs in DC for First Time Since 1933

Congrats to Nationals on ending Washington’s fall drought.

Living Social Helps Fund Keeping Subway Open For Extra Inning Games

This is National Banned Book Week

Click here for more information.


The Presidential Debates

Imagine if Mayberry’s Sheriff Andy Taylor faced a reelection challenge from, of all people, Otis the Drunk and Deputy Barney Fife. If today’s media covered the debate between these fictional television characters, it would be a no win situation for Sheriff Taylor since the media would declare a victory for Otis if he managed to stand up for the entire debate and herald Deputy Fife’s performance so long as his gun didn’t go off by accident, while seizing upon even the slightest misstep by the venerable Sheriff.

Many are familiar with Woody Allen’s maxim that “eighty percent of success is just showing up,” but watching past debate coverage you would think that is the sole criteria for being our commander in chief. With the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates only hours away amidst a time of great crisis, it is imperative that the media step back from the spin chamber and remember that they are covering a debate between candidates seeking to hold the two most important offices in this country. Too much is at stake for this to be another exercise in spin.

This is a point I raised in 2004 in the column below which remains very relevant today.

Debate Spin v. Substance: Lessons From Mayberry (2008)