Pat Piper has made a career learning something new. As a journalist in the news business, “something new” occurs every hour so he’s becoming an expert at understanding stuff he never thought about. Learning became a common word in “Future Talk: Conversations About Tomorrow” (Warner Books), the popular book he ghostwrote with Larry King as […]

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    Questions (not 67 or 68)

    By on February 12, 2014 in See It Here, The Way I See It, Writing

    Sunday talk shows are part of what I do. I decide what “sound bites” are appropriate (read: newsworthy) for a network radio newscast. There are a lot of talk shows with a lot of guests. First, some observations:
    (1) Chris Wallace asks the best questions on Fox News Sunday. I enjoy his warnings to politicians who start with the shop talk that nobody will understand about “don’t go too far into the weeds here” or “don’t go wonky on me.” Of course, he had a good teacher and if you’re clueless about that sentence I’ll suggest you go into the weeds a little bit.

    (2) Every talk show has panelists who comment on the interview everyone has just watched. That’s OK I guess but one starts agreeing with what a panelist says rather than what the guest said. I’d prefer there be no panel and let the points made–or not made–by the guest stand for themselves. Of course, if we watch a play made by Jay Cutler for the Chicago Bears, we also see it over and over before the next play is made—and there’s commentary as we do so that idea may be out the door. The downside with panels is always having an echo chamber where everyone agrees with everyone else. There’s no learning taking place when that happens.

    Now, here are some questions that have yet to be asked by any of the Sunday hosts:

    (1) Ted Cruz–”Senator, you have been vocal about how Obamacare will destroy jobs so I will presume this means you have an alternative that has somehow been missed. What would you change and what would you keep?”

    (2) Any Tea Party Member: “Most of us were taught in civics class that changes can be made to a law by offering amendments where one idea replaces an existing rule. Why don’t you do that instead of shutting down the government for 16 days?”

    (3) To Both: You have been vocal about government spending too much and how the deficit is going to ruin this country and many will agree with you. How fast do you plan to get the deficit to 0? Ten years? Five years? (and a follow up question) Economists say bringing the deficit and government spending down too fast will harm the economy so do you believe that premise and if not, how will it be done? (and one more follow up) How come you haven’t offered a timeline to do this?”

    Tune in Sunday and see what happens.

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