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The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The Rumble

Two powerhouses of political punditry squared off in the George Washington University Lisner Auditorium on Saturday, only a few days following the first presidential debate of 2012, for the first in a series of “Mock Debates” that will tour the country, as well as streaming live to subscribed viewers across the nation. It has become known as “The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium,” and throughout the litany of social media sites hosting the event, much was made of the comparatively low ambient temperature of the venue.

Perhaps the most significant event of the night took place when, even before the debate began, an influx of last-minute traffic managed to crash the hosting servers and completely overloaded the stream. For the first thirty minutes of the debate- few, if any, subscribers who had paid the five dollar fee to watch the live event had access.

The mock debate was fraught with all the snide remarks and personal jabs that one might expect from such a format, Jon Stewart even made reference to the technical difficulties at Bill O’Reilly’s expense. “Right now, Bill’s audience is calling my audience on the phone to try and figure out how to download this thing.”

Throughout the night the two anchors traded jabs, Stewart even going so far to bring up Bill’s father who received disability payments from his company when he developed colitis. It could certainly be said that Stewart possessed something of a home field advantage, as behind his podium Stewart had a remote operated riser platform, to compensate for the disparity in the two men’s height. Naturally, Stewart used this device quite liberally when he felt the need for gravitas.

The topics ranged from Federal spending to media bias, accentuating the forethought of moderator E.D. Hill, in opposition to her moderation counterpart, Jim Lehrer.

Bill brought with him an assortment of poster cards to express what he viewed as his principal arguments, containing phrases like “Iran: Not Frightened” and “Drones, Yes! Waterboarding, No!” Though Bill clearly conveyed his points, Jon did an excellent job of using his dry and sardonic wit to counter attack, even in the most conversational of tones. “There’s always been sort of a rule that if you capture somebody, you don’t torture them. But that’s a whole other thing…”

Overall, the Mock Debate between anchors was indicative of a greater trend in political punditry that I hope gains momentum. Educated people who feel strongly about the issues, disagreeing and holding one another accountable for the claims they make. Perhaps Barack Obama and Mitt Romney could take a cue from these outspoken characters in their next debate.

In the end, it was Bill O’Reilly who made the most memorable quote of the night when he admitted “We should not have gone into Iraq, Afghanistan we had to.” It was a side of Bill O’Reilly that this reporter had never glimpsed previously, and perhaps broadened his respectability among younger viewers.

O’Reilly also poignantly replied to the question about the flaws in current public discourse. “You can make a lot of money being an assassin… They don’t even believe half of the stuff they say… Capitalism drives that, there are Americans who want to hear hate and they hear it.”

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About the Contributor
Josh "Grassy" Knoll, Editor in Chief
Editor in chief, spring 2013. Arts & Features editor, fall 2012.

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The Rumble