CNN commentators keep telling us how young and hip the audience was for last week's YouTube Democratic debate, apparently unaware that the camera occasionally panned across the audience, which was the same oddball collection of teachers' union shills and welfare recipients you see at all Democratic gatherings.
Noticeably, Gov. Bill Richardson got the first "woo" of the debate -- the mating call of rotund liberal women -- for demanding a federal mandate that would guarantee public schoolteachers a minimum salary of $40,000.
So much for the "younger, hipper" audience. Maybe CNN meant "hippier," as in, "My, she's looking a bit hippy these days."
Not counting talking snowmen, the main difference in the YouTube debate audience and the audience for the earlier CNN Democratic debate is that the YouTube debate had 173,000 fewer viewers in the 18-49 demographic. So it was provably not young and, on the basis of casual observation, definitely not hip.
As usual, the audience consisted mostly of public schoolteachers. According to CNN, the highest reading achieved on the CNN feelings-knob was for Richardson talking about public schoolteachers. (Some in the audience said they hadn't been that excited since the last time they had sex with an underage student.)
B. Hussein Obama said he was for slavery reparations in many forms, but the only one that got applause was for more "investment" in schools. In Obama's defense, the precise question was: "But is African-Americans ever going to get reparations for slavery?" So a switch to the subject of education was only natural.
Moreover, a question on reparations has got to be confusing when you're half-white and half-black. What do you do? Demand an apology for slavery and money from yourself? I guess biracial reparations would involve sending yourself money, then sending back a portion of that money to yourself, minus 50 percent in processing fees -- which is the same way federal aid works.
It was fun to hear the Democratic candidates give heart-rending reasons for not sending their own kids to public schools. Except John Edwards. He got a "woo" for sending his kids to public schools from all those "young, hip" Democrats whose greatest concern is how to transfer more money to public schoolteachers while reducing their workload.
The candidates all managed to come up with good reasons for sending their kids to private schools -- with extra points for reasons that involved a family tragedy or emergency -- but it didn't seem to occur to any of them that ordinary families might have good reasons, too.