- Jill Stein's performance was better than her usual quality.
- John Stossel's hosting sucked less than I expected.
- The studio audience was mostly young, enthusiastic, and appreciative.
- The broadcast, taped three nights ago, was heavy-handedly edited.
For those who haven't kept up with Stossel's career, he now has a very un-business-y program entitled Stossel on the Fox Business Network. At least former MTV annoyance Kennedy has an economic angle to her eponymous FBN program. Stossel got rid of his famous mustache for a while, presumably in order to be taken more seriously, but now it's back with a vengeance.
Both Stossel and Kennedy are vocal and dedicated Libertarians, so they are interested in what non-establishment parties and candidates might have to say. Both have treated Jill Stein in particular with great courtesy, respecting her enough not to limit their interviews either to softball questions or personal attacks, unlike the crew over at Fox News.
To address point #4 above: The editing was certainly necessary to fit the whole broadcast into an hour, but it was pretty poorly executed. The town hall packed a lot of questions and answers into the 42 minutes between advertisements. Sometimes the editing made it so that the expected answers to the questions from the live audience, recorded persons-in-the-street, and Facebook were never delivered.
The catty question from a Facebooker, about whether Stein owns anything made of plastic, ignores how much current plastic in the waste stream (including a Texas-sized plastic whirlpool in the Pacific Ocean) could be recycled, rather than extracting more oil to create it. We don't know from the broadcast whether Stein even mentioned that possibility.
The editing had the effect of making Stein look as if she does not know how to answer a question, while also leaving the questioners high & dry. Boo. I hope they'll post the entire, unedited version online soon.
While we're on that subject, get a load of Lee Camp's Redacted Tonight take on PBS's editorial decisions from Jill Stein's Newshour appearance three weeks ago.
Stein handled off-the-wall questions like the one about geo-engineering gently and with aplomb. She pointed out, without derision or sarcasm, that geo-engineering solutions to climate change are risky and costly compared to simpler steps like rapidly phasing out fossil fuels. She did not resort to jokes about whether the next question might be about chemtrails or the Bilderberg Group.
Kudos to the Stossel staff for taking a photo of Stein (with her 2012 haircut) out in public and asking people if they recognize her. Most didn't. Not that Stossel would say so, but they didn't because (ahem)...THE MAJOR MEDIA OUTLETS HAVE PRETTY COMPLETELY IGNORED JILL STEIN, HER CANDIDACY, AND THE GREEN PARTY.
What kind of ratings does FoxBiz even get? At least we can fairly estimate that CNN's Town Hall last month got a Nielsen share of 1. FBN probably gets a tenth of that. Thanks, Foxfolks, for adding perhaps a few thousand to the number of Americans who know that Jill Stein exists.
From my perspective, if you added up all the moments that I have channel-surfed past FBN over the years, plus a few two-minute snippets of Stein's recent appearances on Kennedy, that would still total less than the amount of time I spent watching tonight's broadcast. But then, apart from soccer matches, this one hour is more TV than I typically watch in a week.
If our mass media were actually doing their job, informing the populace about issues of consequence instead of chasing lowest common denominators to satisfy corporate sponsors, I might watch more. (Not that the mass media give a shit whether I watch or not.)