Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ABC.COM: Yes? No? Yes? No?

Nina Wieczorek

Yes. Clay Aiken likes men. And another question is answered now: The presidential debate finally took place. In front of an audience kept in the dark and not allowed to applaud or to interfere in any other way, Barack Obama and John McCain discussed foreign policy issues and also the current financial and economic crisis. In the end, according to the media echo, neither candidate surprised people or stuck out.

This also was the impression of foreign media like El PaĆ­s or Le Monde.

What I wondered, while it wasn't clear whether or not the debate would take place, are the candidates now still working senators and should they act in this function (e.g. working on the bailout plan) or are they now in a new role and more asked as leaders and executives than legislators?

No game changer?

Though the debate didn't end with one of them clearly being better than the other, it had a strong effect on the numbers:
Polls show a strong swift towards Obama who leads now 52% to 43% over his rival in the ABC poll. Viewers said he offered better solutions to the mentioned topics.

But, what are his solutions worth? A fact check on abc's homepage shows that both candidates seem to turn the truth a little bit...

Not Enough Background
Especially as the average user and voter usually doesn't know too much about numbers such videos are quite important. But I missed an article explaining clearly which economic reforms Obama and McCain each support. What are the differences between them? What would be the outcome? How easy are these plans to realize?

Is that Fair?
On the front page (and also on other news-omepages) is an ad 'Paid for by Obama for America', but there is no ad for McCain. The user only always sees that he has to be registered to be able to vote for the democratic presidential candidate, McCain doesn't get any advertising space.

That's Fair
Another thing that I observed was that the skin color of the candidates isn't mentioned in any article. I think that's good, because it shouldn't be a criterium for a person's qualification for being president of the US. On the other hand, does this media tabu reflect voters' reality? Is it really not on people's minds?

Thursday there might be more 'Fuego'

And so we don't forget about the VP's - on Thursday it's their turn to show their rethorical skills and what they exactly stand for.

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