By Danielle Berrin, Circuit Editor
Bill Maher and Tony Snow at AJU’s 2008 Public Lecture Series at Universal Studios on April 28
…Hubris from both speakers — potshots, crude jokes, even cuss words — cheapened an otherwise dynamic debate.
The aim of the lecture series, which has also included Tony Blair, Karl Rove and Arianna Huffington this season, is to posture divisive speakers on polar ends of the political spectrum in front of a mostly liberal-leaning Los Angeles audience. While the crowd vacillated between laughing at Maher’s outrageousness and appreciating Snow’s clear-mindedness, in the end, bandying politics as entertainment did not necessarily elevate political discourse.
I’m tired of journalists abusing news stories to lecture us about the cheapening of political discourse. Why not just report what happened and let the reader decide whether political discourse was cheapened?
I find this kind of writing — telling us what to think about jokes — a cheapening of journalism.