02 October 2012

Are You Ready to Rhetorically Rumble?

[L] Ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D-NY) and [R] Glenn Beck at "The War of the Words"

                  In the left corner, with blue colors
                  is the ex Empire State Attorney General who went after Wall Street,
                 the one time Champion of the New York Gubernatorial Mansion
                 After personal expenditures to the Empire Club were exposed,
                 he left public service to host a prime time show on CNN and now Al Gore's Current TV.
                 Let's hear it for Client Number 9-- ELIOT SPITZER!

In the right corner, with the red colors is a self-described rodeo clown,
who's life spiraled downwards until he became a Latter Day Saint.
He went from doing a light-hearted morning zoo radio show
into what some have likened to Network's Howard Beale.
He abruptly left a successful cable news show
to establish his own internet television, radio and publishing empire.
Let's hear it for "The Blaze"-- GLENN BECK! 


With less than a month before the Presidential Election, this is the equivalence of the drive to the World Series for political junkies.  While I look forward to the main event in the Presidential and Vice Presidential debates this month, there are two warm ups that should appeal to the general public.

Tonight at 10 PM EDT, Dish Network (and on Dish's Facebook page) is going to broadcast “The War of the Words” between former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer (D-NY) and Glenn Beck.

On October 6th, Comedy Central’s Daily Show faux news host Jon Stewart will take on Fox News Channel’s Grand Poobah Bill O’Reilly at George Washington University in what is ironically billed as  the  “Rumble in the Air Conditioned Auditorium.”.  That 90 minute clash before a sold out Lisner Auditorium will be broadcast pay-per-view to be streamed live online.

Half of the profits from the event will be donated by Stewart and O’Reilly to a number of charitable causes.

Anecdotal evidence points to enthusiasm from low information voters for these infotainment debates. With the nation being at the cusp of another recession, America's foreign policy collapsing in a tinder box world, it seems sad that news commentators, either comedic or serious, attract more attention than the official Presidential Debates.

But maybe these events might break through the sunny side focus of the elite liberal media and reach new audiences.  After all, it is remarkable that Univision's hard hitting debate questions to President Obama  on broken immigration promises as well as their investigation on 'RĂ¡pido y Furioso' not only made headlines but exposed Hispanic viewers to how many Mexicans were killed by Attorney General Eric Holder's flawed "Fast and Furious" operation.

For those who deride Beck as being a boob for not having gone to college, this will be a chance to see if he can think on his feet and can cite facts.  Many Daily Show viewers hold Jon Stewart and his writing team in high esteem for his comedic commentary on the news.  The rumble with O'Reilly will demonstrate how  Stewart does debating on his own for more than one segment.

Personally, I was dubious about the Stewart/O'Reilly match up as it paired up two partisan poppinjays.  But it might be worthwhile after all as the event will be anchored by E.D. Hill of (CNN and formerly of Fox News Channel) who developed a hard hitting but humorous reputation for covering news.

Sometimes the clashes of ideological titans can be less of a bang and more of a whimper.  Sean Hannity loves to book friends who are on the far left but for me it sounds more like schmoozing than substance.  O'Reilly thinks highly of himself and his No Spin interviews, but his tete-a-tetes with President Obama have seemed more like political softball than bean-ball.

Here is hoping that low information voters get exposed to some election issues rather than ad hominem attacks and that they stay engaged to make informed opinions as they exercise their franchise which so many American servicemen have died to protect.

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