69 million page views

Mixed thoughts on these shows

Reader comment on item: Television in Time of War

Submitted by Sean H. (United States), Aug 5, 2005 at 10:55

My feelings regarding the "Crossfire"-type debate shows are mixed.

Generally, I agree with critics here like Mr. Sullivan who argue that while participating in the debates may be unpleasant, the alternative is to allow the other side to present its case unrebutted. That would be one thing if the other side were simply expounding on it's ideology or strategy but oftentimes they use the opportunity to pass along rumor, misstate facts, mislead viewers, etc. Having their opponent nearby puts a limit on that.

But even a political junkie such as myself finds the constant b...y back and forth of these shows extremely tiresome. Nor does it help to illuminate the issue since both sides are usually far more interested in trying to "get" the other guy than to honestly explore the issue at hand. As a result, I rarely watch these shows anymore. Judging by their ratings, I'm not alone.

Much better are the ones where the host interviews someone one-on-one. Tim Russert of Meet the Press is the Best. Chris Matthews of Hardball has his moments, though he too can be grating. Best of all was Brian Lamb's unfortunately cancelled C-SPAN program Booknotes.

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2024 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)