-June 17, 2013-
3:00 -- Should NC mandate all hotel and motel rooms be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors?
4:00 -- Buncombe County Commissioner Mike Fryar in studio with us to talk about the big 'Project X' deal.
5:00 -- More with Commissioner Fryar.
-June 18, 2013-
3:00 -- Mark Hyman joins us to discuss tonight's Town Hall on WLOS focusing on same-sex marriage. Plus, trivia!
4:00 -- A guy mistakenly sells his wife's diamond ring. The ethics of whether the buyer should return it.
5:00 -- More on the ring ethical debate. Plus, a Saudi prince sues Forbes for underestimating his net worth.
-June 19, 2013-
-June 20, 2013-
4:00 -- Kevin King, Managing Editor of the Asheville and Hendersonville Tribunes, joins us to talk about the latest issue on news stands today.
-June 21, 2013-
The pundits are nearly unanimous in their praise today for Martha Raddatz’s handling of the Vice Presidential debate last night. While not surprising, I believe it’s instructive.
Look, I understand the almost knee-jerk response among national journalists to defend one of their colleagues. It happens at a local level, too.
I also can accept the anti-male response pervasive on social media last night (ie: “It took a WOMAN to handle those boys!” or “A woman had to show those men how a debate should be moderated!”)
And, while I know I’m in the minority on this, I think Raddatz did not handle the men well. She only handled one man well - Paul Ryan.
No sour grapes here
Let me be clear: I don’t believe Raddatz had any impact on the outcome of the debate. Each candidate scored some political points and each conveyed to their target audiences their intended messages.
I believe Paul Ryan proved he is smart and mature enough to be seen as a VP.
I believe Joe Biden called Ryan a liar in enough ways to placate a disappointed liberal base that has demanded such an attack since Barack Obama took the stage in
After the first Presidential debate I told progressives and democrats complaining about Jim Lehrer not to blame a candidate’s poor debate performance on the moderator. It’s like blaming pollsters for poorly orchestrated campaigns.
I am not blaming Raddatz for a poor performance by Ryan, because he did not perform poorly.
What I am pointing out is how Raddatz treated the two men differently.
Raddatz interviewed Paul Ryan. She moderated Joe Biden.
What’s the difference?
In her dialogue with Ryan, she treated him like any subject in any of her various TV interviews over her career. She asked follow-up questions and pressed for details. She showed why she’s a good reporter. This is why democrats and liberals loved her last night. She was demanding answers of Ryan which they believe will turn public sentiment against the GOP ticket.
Compare that interviewing style with the way she engaged Biden.
In a topic damaging to the Administration, Raddatz asked whether the attack on the
Paul Ryan responded and talked about the Administration’s focus on an anti-Islam video as reason for the attack.
Raddatz followed up - asking about Mitt Romney’s response to attack, which sparked outrage among the media talking heads.
Then she asked Biden about the Administration’s use of the video. Biden dodged the question again, saying there’s an investigation. And then said nobody ever asked for more security at
But Raddatz moved on.
No follow up
A follow-up question is based upon a certain level of subjectivity. You can be fair by essentially playing devil’s advocate with each candidate, but that requires you know the opposing position. Not knowing that position indicates laziness or an unwillingness to understand it.
When Biden said nobody asked for additional security, it should have sent up a red flag for Raddatz. It apparently did not.
Further, when Biden cited American intelligence as the reason why Obama’s containment on
Today on Good Morning America, Raddatz said:
“[W]hen you’re there, you’re in the moment, you really have to go with what’s happening. So when they were talking to each other, when they were going after each other, you do, you want to step back from that. Yet when I hear things, I think, I gotta jump in there, I gotta jump in.”
And therein lies the bias.
What does she hear? What pitch gets a response?
She wanted details about the Romney/Ryan tax plan but had no curiosity about the Obama/Biden plan. No desire to ask about their vision for the next four years.
We heard probing questions on the GOP ideas to reform Social Security and Medicare, but no plan from the Democrats.
Jump in any time there, Martha.
The difference between Jim & Martha
The criticism of Jim Lehrer was that he got steamrolled by Mitt Romney (who spoke for fewer minutes than Barack Obama). But that was an open format designed to prompt the candidates to speak to each other. By comparison, Martha Raddatz let Joe Biden steamroll Paul Ryan in a tightly-timed and constrained format. Biden got a moderator while Ryan got a reporter.
Lehrer got out of the way to let the men running for president debate each other. Radadtz got between the men running for VP and seemed intent on showing how informed she is on the issues.
Pardon the interruption(s)
Finally, there were the interruptions (which I don’t necessarily oppose).
Biden's strategy here was obvious from the outset: to derail Ryan’s answers so as to prevent any rhetorical momentum while drawing attention away from the answers. It’s a debate strategy that can work well, when you’re not cackling during every question about nuclear war and taxes.
Biden reportedly interrupted Ryan more than 80 times. Ryan interrupted Biden fewer than 10.
Martha Raddatz interrupted Ryan another 31 times. She interrupted Biden 19 times.
Do the math.
Over the 90 minute debate, Ryan was stopped or spoken over at least once per minute. When you use the actual amount of time he spoke, it’s more like every 30 seconds.
That is not what I’d call “handling” a debate.
It more resembled a feature-length split-screen cable news screaming match instead of a discussion of philosophical and policy differences.
However, I did learn that Paul Ryan drinks a lot of water and Joe Biden has really white teeth. So, there’s that.