Sunday, May 20 , 2018, 6:40 pm | A Few Clouds 67º


She Said, Z Said: Television ‘Viewers’ Playing Politics? It’s Debatable

Jimmy Kimmel show gauges voter reactions before the debate, yielding little 'truthiness' — and that's no lie

Z: The Jimmy Kimmel show interviewed people about their reactions to the second presidential debate — before it happened.

She: That must have been boring.

Z: It was awesome.

She: But what could they possibly have said?

Z: Surprisingly cogent analysis. Watch it by clicking here.

She: That’s hilarious. I love the guy who remembered when the audience booed.

Z: Almost as good as the person who thought the town hall style of debate was much more intimate.

She: And the guy who actually came up with an answer when asked what the best question of the debate was.

Z: At first I thought people were confusing it with the first debate, but the interviewer kept asking follow-up questions about the debate format, and made it very clear she was asking about the second debate.

She: They even asked about the moderator and people made comments. No mistake. Those people were just massive BSers.

Z: To the extent that they invented details of the debate to support their candidate.

She: It’s as if the entire world has caught Male-Answer-Syndrome from you. Even women. Is Male-Answer-Syndrome contagious?

Z: Why do people do that? Why do they flat-out lie when presented with a microphone and a TV camera?

She: I don’t know, but if regular people on the street make up answers to questions about games they have no skin in, we shouldn’t be surprised that politicians make up answers to questions when they actually do have a stake in them.

Z: I think it’s the microphone and the TV camera. People will say anything if they think it will get them on TV.

She: So the stakes are that if they had admitted to not seeing the debate — which wasn’t even going to happen for another four hours — then they never would have made it on to TV.

Z: I was hoping it was some weird anomaly, but then Kimmel did it again the next night. Only this time, he completely invented a First Lady Debate between Michelle Obama and Ann Romney.

She: I actually wouldn’t mind seeing that debate. It’s got to be better than the cookie baking contests they really do have for first ladies.

Z: Apparently, the people interviewed on Hollywood Boulevard did see it. Too bad this is a comedy show, because I think this is some fascinating social science.

She: Nothing wrong with doing social science on a comedy show where it’s all about “truthiness.” Those shows might even be better for doing social science.

Z: I love how everyone had an opinion as to who won the debate (that hadn’t happened).

She: And — shocker — it was the person they were going to vote for.

Z: Clearly, people are not only trying to get on TV, but they’re also trying to get on TV in support of their candidate.

She: It pretty much explains all of Fox News.

Z: What do you think the reason is for all that BS? Are people lying about seeing these debates in order to seem informed, to get on TV or to shill for their candidate?

She: It’s called “partisan mind.” The other day the New York Times had a pretty good article about how “it’s worth pausing a moment to reflect on the strangeness of how partisan psychology works during these last, lunatic days of an election cycle.”

Z: It would be nice to know how many people were honest, and said they hadn’t seen the debate. Or even better, knew that there wasn’t one.

She: I’m guessing those statistics wouldn’t make you feel much better about being an American.

Z: It’s still remarkable to me how completely disingenuous people can be in front of a TV camera. It’s an excellent reminder to take all TV news with a grain of salt.

She: So. How do you think the third debate went?

Z: It was awesome. President Obama crushed it. Especially when he talked about that economic thing, and the audience applauded.

She: Yes, dear.

— Tell She and Z what you think by emailing .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow She and Z on Twitter: @lesliedinaberg. Click here for previous She Said, Z Said columns.

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