Wednesday, September 1, 2010


SITTING ON A SOFA ON A SUNDAY AFTERNOON...: Few who saw it would deny that Monday’s gubernatorial debate was a disgusting display of ego-driven bravado, and rabblerousing, childish repartee with an emphasis on zingers and gotcha moments that made no one look good.

And the candidates themselves were pretty out there too.

Of course we’re not talking about Neil and Mufi but the (what passes for) Hawai`i News Now(a'days) production which was more reminiscent of a World Wrestling Federation event than a political forum.

The circus extravaganza- led by Kaua`i-born Keahi Tucker in the “Lets’ get ready to grumble” Vince McMahon role- wasn’t something that just got out of hand but was apparently a preplanned attempt to keep an audience glued to the tube through an hour and a half of “you stink, no you stink, nani-nani-boo-boo, halahhh!” rather than inform the electorate.

First they invited an audience straight out of Jerry Springer even setting up “sides” of the room with the most rabid of supporters of each candidate. Then they told them they could whoop and holler in a cheering manner but no hissing and booing.

Yeah, that’ll work.

Then there was Tucker, running around like Phil Donahue on steroids during the “lightening round”. After not asking but telling the two candidates that he was going to address them by their first names- eliciting a slight scowl from both- he proceeded to whip the crowd into a frenzy with insipid questions straight out of an MTV “news” segment.

It was a good thing he ran out of time before asking “boxers or briefs”.

And the questions from the so-called distinguished panel- including the “weather-bunny” turned anchor, the hack reporter/analyst from the co-sponsoring Star(ved for actual news) Advertiser that hasn’t had a political insight since the Burns administration. Only Dan Boylan’s presence prevented the group from having the cumulative political IQ of a sea cucumber.

We fully expected a scantily clad model to waltz across the stage holding up cards indicating which round it was..

Not that political races are by any means dignified affairs these day but you’d think the sponsors would do all they could to encourage a semblance of decorum rather than pulling up to the stage in a tiny car and unloading a group of clowns to ask the questions.

We expect bread and circuses from the pols but when the media provides the big top and the virtual popcorn. it’s no wonder campaigns are decided by who, issues be damned, is the least objectionable.

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