Why do reporters need to be at the center of political debates? To expose the truth, say many.
Well, during last week’s presidential debate, CNNs John King took on that role with self-righteous zeal: “Tonight, Senator Obama, you’ve talked about more transparency. You also at one point criticized earmarks. And yet, a recent report came out that identified you — lower on the list in terms how much money senators seek and sneak into the budget for these pork-barrel spending projects, but it still said you were responsible for $91 million in earmarks. And you have refused to say where the money went, what it’s for. Why?”
Dang. Zinger, right? Refused to disclose. Hypocrisy! Given that Senator Clinton’s xerox line flopped, this was perhaps the hardest hit Obama took all night.
Well, actually it turns out Senator Obama did disclose his earmarks. In fact, he disclosed in about the most up-front manner imaginable, via a news release beamed to the news media and posted on his official website titled “Obama Announces FY08 Federal Funding Requests.”
Why not let candidates debate each other instead of giving reporters a platform for making themselves the story?