Prior to Tuesday’s Democratic presidential primary debate in Detroit, CNN put ample time, money and energy into promoting the event.
The network’s execution and production of the political affair didn’t appear to pay off, however.
The television juice, as they say in the biz, wasn’t worth the squeeze.
Many observers and viewers didn’t mince words about the subject on social media, according to The Hill.
There was no shortage of those on Twitter who thought CNN’s presentation was redolent of a motion-picture trailer or the start of a sports events.
The Hill reported that — due to the introductory video, color guard, a commercial and the 10 candidates’ opening remarks — the talkfest didn’t begin until 8:23 p.m. EST.
Cue the slew of negative and facetious tweets:
Problem: Too many candidates, not enough time.
CNN Solution: Burn 10 minutes over-produced pageantry, immediately take a commercial break, kill another 12 minutes with needless opening statements, ask first actual question @ 8:23pm.
Other than that off to a great start.
— Philippe Reines (@PhilippeReines) July 31, 2019
CNN isn’t using our time well in this Democratic debate. Eleven minutes have passed, and no candidate has said anything except, “Nice to meet you.” #DemDebate
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) July 31, 2019
Members of the media, effectively eating their own, questioned the moderators’ questions and were discouraged by the paucity of minutes most of the candidates were afforded.
“Other journalists said the debate format did not allow enough time for detailed explanations regarding complicated policy issues, while others noted a lack of questions about foreign policy or veterans affairs,” The Hill reported.
As if employing an editor’s “Less is more” mantra, Politico’s Ben White cut to the chase on Twitter:
Why are these response windows so small? Let the people talk.
— Ben White (@morningmoneyben) July 31, 2019
Among the most visibly disgruntled on social media was The Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker, who tweeted in part, “This process is a disgrace and a disservice to all serious people.”
I simply cannot watch. Why? Not because they’re Democrats but because our SYSTEM ruins the best. This process is a disgrace and a disservice to all serious people. Shame on everyone.
— kathleenparker (@kathleenparker) July 31, 2019
Tuesday’s debate marked the first of a pair spotlighting a combined 20 Democratic hopefuls with CNN moderators Don Lemon, Jake “Dapper” Tapper, and Dana Bash — the latter of whom wasn’t bashed by American Conservative Union chairman Matt Schlapp, of all people.
It’s no coincidence Schlapp’s complimentary tweet omitted Lemon, who makes no bones about his disdain for President Donald Trump.
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) July 31, 2019
Granted, as The Hill reported, it didn’t help CNN’s cause that “The Bachelorette” season finale was airing concurrently on ABC.
But as social media users publicly reminded Jeff Zucker’s network, it has only itself to blame as the excuses and critiques rain down.
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