Thursday, October 26, 2006

Killer Keller

We have been known to disparage Channel 4/WBZ pol guy Jon Keller. We need to praise him for his work last night at the debate.

We've called him Jonny LITE and such, but were surprised to read some blog accounts saying he handled this poorly. Instead, he reined in a rowdy bunch of rubes and kept things flowing.

Before starting, he had the unenviable task of cleaning up from his stations' elephants. They refused to join with the large MSM group in the previous debates. So, he was left:
  1. Following close behind the recent debate.
  2. Trying solo (without reporter backup) to produce meaningful, fresh questions.
  3. Wrangling that foursome who are clearly out of patience with each other.
Keller obviously watched the past few debates with the rest of us. He warned them up top not to talk over each other.

Then he enforced it. He didn't use a gavel or shout for a candidate to be quiet, but he reined them in better than the past couple of moderators.

Here is a major problem we find with Kerry Healey. She is fond of pointing out that she went to a public high school before Harvard and that she worked to help the family during high school.

Somehow, she came out of that (if those depictions are accurate and full) as a princess with a bad attitude. You can watch her color up, stiffen up even more than normal and pounce when anyone dares, dares I say, to challenge her generalizations or her twisting of their own comments. She plainly is not one to re-evaluate herself easily or accept criticism.

Beyond that, she has the debating style of a private-school boy. She habitually talks over people, shouts at them, and repeats herself when they try to speak. She is loud and iterative as a way of trying to silence her opponents. That's not what they teach in public school. Perhaps she picked that up at Harvard.

So, as usual, she was the primary offender and breaker of the rules. Deval Patrick was clearly irritated after several of the debates where she acted out so badly.

Let us pause to consider a favorite Black Eyed Peas lyric snippet (from Where is the Love on the Elephunk CD):
What's wrong with the world, mama
People livin' like they ain't got no mamas
Was it only the morning before this debate that the Boston Globe ran a fluff piece about Healey and her mom, Shirley? It seemed to be straight PR trying to soften the image of the Baroness of Beverly. Yet, we still have to wonder how she was raised.

Keller was firm, if a little slow, from stopping all the candidates, but particularly Healey from abusing the rules and good manners. He's been the best at this so far.

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1 comment:

juniper pearl said...

the habit of healey's that infuriates me the most is the one of looking toward the moderator with an expression of palpable exasperation when an opponent makes a comment that she finds particularly distasteful (or that she is unable to refute). that snotty faux collusion, as if she's attempting to convince those watching that she and the moderator are sharing in a "can you believe this guy?" moment, is pure prep-school cheerleader. you can learn it in a public school, but only at the cool kids' table in the cafeteria. and while keller was firm, he did seem to have the most trouble getting healey to respect his firmness. but i imagine anyone would have that problem.