Last night’s ABC debate was like a really bad parody of all that is worst in TV journalism: the moderators took 50 minutes to ask a question about an actual issue, and spent most of the time talking about their own personal obsessions: poorly-worded statements, the ’60s, flag lapel pins (“Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others!” — The Simpsons). It’s a reminder that TV news reporters aren’t “liberal” or “conservative” in their bias, they’re biased in favour of triviality, andf they compound this bias by assuming that whatever they are most interested in is equally interesting to “The People.” (Try a drinking game sometime when you’re watching a TV pundit: any time he or she says “The American People” or “Canadians” or whoever are interested in something, when it’s clear that he or she is the one who’s actually interested in it, take a swig. You’ll pass out soon, which is the only way you can watch CNN.) It’s great fodder for Stewart and Colbert, but man, it’s depressing. See Tom Shales for more.