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Primary Fluff

Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008 4:03 AM

From the Absolutely Useless Journalism Department, Katie Couric's 'Primary Questions' series, where she asks the same questions of the leading candidates for president. Unfortunately, the 'substantive questions' are fluff pieces like, "What's the most disillusioning part of running for president?" - which offered the candidates nothing but an opportunity to trot out stock lines and little or no detail as to how they plan on solving important issues facing the nation.

Close on its heels comes another item on CBS, a story about children and their 'shrinking world' - our kids don't range about the neighborhood anymore, they stay in the living room with the X-Box.

But instead of traditional interviews, the story consisted of time-lapsed video of an artist drawing pictures and graphics. All of the interviews were by phone, and the reporter simply appeared against a plain white background.

Way to go, CBS. Lament our children's 'shrinking world' and then offer up the story in a way that makes it seem as if we're all living in a sterile white box with no windows.

And another Boot to the Head for CBS and Katie Couric, tonight's upcoming piece on Hollywood and teen pregnancies. The teen pregnancy rate is up, so it must be Hollywood's fault, right?

Because I'm sure watching Michael Clayton and Ratatouille are just sending kids off to do it like bunnies on Viagra.

Ahem. Hollywood can't make you do anything; it can only portray situations that an individual may empathize with or consider in fantasies. The choice remains with the individual, and education remains the responsibility of the parents and properly funded schools.

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee saw fit to compare secular America to Nazi Germany. Naturally, it's the evangelical Christians who will ride to the rescue.

"Do we expect the unbelievers to lead us, and if so, how will they lead us and where?" he asked the crowd. "I pray that no father ever stands over the shoulder of his own daughter and after her witnessing the decline and the fall of a great nation, writes, and sees her write these words, "why didn't somebody do something?" You see, I believe the reason we're here is because we are the somebodies. And we're to do the something and if we don't, who will? And if we don't act now, when will it happen, and will it be too late? You leave this conference with this haunting question, and pray that no one would ever ask of you or of me, why didn't somebody do something?"

A theocracy is a theocracy, and it is not America. This lunatic doesn't belong anywhere near the Oval Office.

It's FISA Day, and I'm expecting the Party of the Spineless (Democrats, for those of you who are tuning in late) to cave in and forward a bill packed with telecom amnesty goodness.

Forget the civil liberties issues for a moment. Telecom amnesty implies that neither the telecommunications companies nor the federal government are capable of wrongdoing, when, in fact, the underlying concept of warrantless wiretaps by way of an executive order is illegal from the word go.

And amnesty would be a non-issue if the government hadn't asked for illegal wiretaps in the first place.

So Al Gore is amping up his Cassandra act, telling an international panel on climate change that his dire predictions are taking place at a highly accelerated rate.

For all that I remain concerned about climate change, this constant fear mongering doesn't really set Gore apart from the folks who are constantly warning us about terrorism. At some point, people start tuning you out.

Leadership needs to be a little more than purchasing carbon offsets and bitching about how we're ruining the planet.

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