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Still Talkin TV » It Was Too Damn Hard to Find Debate

It Was Too Damn Hard to Find Debate

HEMPSTEAD, NY - OCTOBER 18: Jimmy McMillan of ...
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 The sponsors of Monday’s gubernatorial debate did a lousy job explaining to local viewers where they could find Carl Paladino, Andrew Cuomo and the five people tossing out one-liners against them on television.

 And the local media wasn’t much help in promoting where to go, either.

 To paraphrase Jimmy McMillan (see above), it was just too damn hard to find the debate if you didn’t have cable.

 Time Warner Cable officials noted that it didn’t produce or distribute the debate. It also proudly claimed that the only place to watch the debate locally was on YNN, its local 24-hour news channel.

But anecdotally that wasn’t the case.

 A friend told me that she could have watched it on the internet on newsday.com if she had agreed to pay the debate sponsor, Cablevision, an access fee. She declined to pay the cable company that owns Newsday, one of the three sponsors of the debate.

 A student told me his parents are DirecTV subscribers who watched the debate on C-Span 2.

 Adding to the misconceptions about the debate were comments made by an University at Buffalo political science professor on WBEN-AM. He said “the networks” didn’t carry it because they are interested in ratings.

 First of all, the professor doesn’t understand the difference between networks like NBC, CBS and ABC and their network affiliates — Channel 2, Channel 4 and Channel 7.

 None of the national networks would carry the debate because – with a few exceptions — it only had interest to viewers in New York State.

 Channel 2 was one network affiliate that certainly would have carried the debate if the cable company that had its rights would have allowed it to carry it. Cablevision and not Time Warner had the rights and wouldn’t allow Channel 2 to carry it, said Channel 2 General Manager Jim Toellner.

 He added he would have carried it despite the fact the 90-minute debate was held without commercial breaks. However, the debate did end a few minutes before 8:30 p.m., minutes that might have been used for commercial time.

 There is no way to prove it, but I imagine that Paladino’s appearance would have meant that Channel 2 would have gotten big ratings here if it had carried the debate. It certainly would have had much bigger ratings than YNN, which is only available on cable.

 The decision to make it difficult for all Western New Yorkers to see the debate was a disservice to potential voters and the public interest.

 However, considering how much style overwhelmed substance during the debate not much was really lost except for the entertainment value.

 At times, the debate was unintentionally funnier than “Saturday Night Live,” which could have a delicious time satirizing Monday night’s events.

 But I’m not sure it is going to happen. Once again, only New York voters saw the debate and not even all of them had the opportunity.

 Anyone expecting David Letterman, Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert to weigh in on the debate Tuesday was sadly disappointed because the late-night comedians were either carrying reruns or focusing on something else.

 But don’t give up. They still have plenty of time to weigh in about how high the rent is in New York.

 pergament@msn.com  

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3 Responses to “It Was Too Damn Hard to Find Debate”

  1. Cherie says:

    It was on WBFO-FM 88.7 and was repeated there on Tuessday.

  2. Carole DIrienzo says:

    How about “The rent is too damn high and I’m as mad as hell” ticket?

  3. cable companies are also offering broadband internet these days and the cost is cheap too ,’-

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