After I voiced concern about the primal nature of Tuesday night’s debate, a reader set me straight, pointing out that American debates are tame in comparison to some other countries.
Indeed, this 2010 debate about Islam — between Geert Wilders of the PVV (the Dutch “Party for Freedom”) and Wouter Bos of the PvdA (Labour) — puts Tuesday night’s “rumble in New York” to shame.
In fairness (to myself), I wasn’t the only one who thought Tuesday’s debate was physical. Appearing on Tony Kornheiser’s ESPN radio show Wednesday, the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman observed: “I have never seen [a debate] that came closer to a fistfight…it was like a boxing ring.”
It turns out, that was nothing. The debate between Wilders and Bos included a moderator who literally looks more like a referee.
As one reader tells me, “It is the most in–your-face debate I’ve ever seen, a straightforward measure of testosterone vs testosterone.”
I also lamented how some viewers seemed to enjoy the drama and tension — adding that this was similar to a “reality show.” If that’s the case, once again, the Dutch put us to shame.
But tell me this (below) couldn’t have come from “The Apprentice” or Hell’s Kitchen” (just before they cut away for a commercial break.)
The good news is we get to enjoy a few more years of democracy before we begin picking our presidents based on the winner of a nationally-televised, full-contact kickboxing match…