Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/10/2008 (2822 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The cutaways are the killers.Cutaways are the shots of politicians in televised debates when they are listening, not debating. These shots have been known to completely scuttle an otherwise successful debate.1999 Manitoba election. CBC Television hosts a debate between Premier Gary Filmon
, NDP Leader Gary Doer
and Liberal Leader Jon Gerrard
. The lingering memory for me is the horrible expression on Filmon's face as he listened to Doer. It was a mix of nausea and homicidal rage.For those of you lucky enough to catch the first presidential debate between Republican John McCain
and Democrat Barack Obama,
did you notice the striking difference in strategy for the cutaways?Obama was cool and calm and whenever McCain was talking the trash, he was looking down, scribbling on his pad, waiting his chance to respond. When he looked up, he had a quiet, confident expression.McCain, on the other hand, looked at Obama with a quirky grin on his face. Then he shook his head, and looked at the moderator with a combination of plaintiff anxiety and fear. Overall, when he wasn't talking, he looked like a nine-year-old on a Ritalin withdrawal. Eyes darting all over the place, twitching as Obama beat him with the velvet hammer.If you're lucky enough to take in Thursday's English-language debate, watch for the cutaways and who is left looking like a nerd, and who looks like a warrior. With the "Knights of the Round Table" format instituted by the networks, this debate should generate a much greater cutaway factor.-30-