There is a theory which states: Television fundamentally changes anything it covers. I think that might actually be my theory, but maybe not.
Witness the CNN/YouTube debate on CNN the other night which featured the latest version of "Let's Find A Way To Make A Political Debate Containing 173 Candidates Six Months Ahead Of The First Caucus Interesting" featuring people having uploaded videos to YouTube and have CNN pick the silliest, dumbest, least relevant, most absurd questions for the candidates to answer.
Proving the theory that even a stopped watch tells the correct time twice a day, a guy named Stephen Sorta asked whether would be willing to meet, with not pre-conditions, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea during their first year as president.
Which was a pretty good question. A pretty good question that Barak Obama first fumbled, then kicked, and finally picked up and handed to Hillary Clinton.
Obama said he would "And the reason is this: That the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them -- which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration -- is ridiculous."
Which is, of course, ridiculous. But remember, this is the same Barak Obama who, in the first debate, when asked what he would do as President if there was a major terrorist attack against the United States said, essentially, he would make certain there was enough blue tarp available to cover the roofs of damaged houses.
Hillary Clinton said "I will not promise to meet with the leaders of these countries during my first year … because I think it is not that you promise a meeting at that high a level before you know what the intentions are." Promising a "vigorous diplomatic effort," she said, "I don't want to be used for propaganda purposes and don't want to make a situation worse."Which is yet another reason why Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee - something you need to start thinking about very seriously.
At some point even the MoveOn.org/George Soros/Cindy Sheehan wing of the Democratic party is going to have to come to grips with the fact that Barak Obama has the same qualifications and judgement to be President of the United States as Titus the Granddog which may be a libel against The Lad's Pug.
But let's get back to this business of political debates as made-for-TV events.
I have some suggestions for the cable nets as we move through the next six months:
The Message-in-the-Bottle Debate sponsored by The Sailing Network. Viewers will be urged to write their questions on a piece of paper, put it in a bottle, stick a cork in it, and throw it in the ocean. Sailors all over the world will be on the lookout for the bottles and, having found one, will call the question in on Channel 14 on the ship-to-shore radio.
The Graffiti Debate sponsored by PBS. Graffiti "artists" will spray paint their questions on buildings, subway cars, bridge overpasses, and the windows outside the studios of morning news programs where PBS cameras will record them and subtitles will allow people over the age of 30 to understand what they are looking at.
The Discovery Channel Debate sponsored by … well, you know. This will include questions posed by the Survivorman, the Dirtiest Jobs guy, and the Deadliest Catch crews. This debate will be hosted by the Mythbusters who, like me, will not take it seriously.
That. Is not amusing.