Washington Babylon — April 17, 2008, 7:36 am

Charlie and George at ABC: Lame and Lamer

Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos have been broadly panned for their work during last night’s Democratic debate. The best commentary comes from Tom Shales of the Washington Post, who said that ABC’s dynamic duo “turned in shoddy, despicable performances”:

For the first 52 minutes of the two-hour, commercial-crammed show, Gibson and Stephanopoulos dwelled entirely on specious and gossipy trivia that already has been hashed and rehashed, in the hope of getting the candidates to claw at one another over disputes that are no longer news. Some were barely news to begin with… “It’s not the first time I made a misstatement that was mangled up, and it won’t be the last,” said Obama [about the overblown “Bittergate” scandal], with refreshing candor. But candor is dangerous in a national campaign, what with network newsniks waiting for mistakes or foul-ups like dogs panting for treats after performing a trick. The networks’ trick is covering an election with as little emphasis on issues as possible, then blaming everyone else for failing to focus on “the issues.”

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Mrs. B’s Baby Village Day Care was on a frontage road between a mattress wholesaler and a knife outlet. There were six or so babies as regulars and another one or two on weekends when their parents were passing through looking for work. They wouldn’t find work, of course, all the security positions were full, the timber and ore had all been taken under the active-stewardship program, and the closest new start-up industry was the geothermal field hundreds of miles away. Mrs. B didn’t even bother to write those babies’ names down in her book. It was fifteen dollars a day and they had to be in reasonable health. Even so the occasional mischievous illness would arise and empty the place out.

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