I made a big mistake last night and watched some TV coverage of the RNC. I tuned in to watch John Kerry’s speech in Columbus, Ohio, and wound up watching a couple of panel discussions hosted by Chris Matthews. (I also watched a panel earlier in the evening where Pat Buchanan said he found Zell Miller’s speech very entertaining, and Laura Ingraham said there was much female support for Miller because ladies love a man who shows strength.) The obvious question is what use these panels had in informing voters about anything.

I don’t know why they have show after show on television that just lets people on both sides parrot the talking points. (I hope I’m not exposing horrible bias by saying Republican seem worse about this than Democrats.) I saw former Oklahoma Congressman J.C. Watts on television several times, and every time he said that this election is about the future, and Kerry only talks about the past. I mean, obviously, this is a lie. Take a look at Kerry’s web site or read any of his speeches and you’ll see that he’s made a number of concrete proposals that discuss how he’ll address problems with health insurance, offshoring jobs, and so forth. You may not agree with them, but they’re there. Why lie?

I’m not smart enough to tell you what the big problem is here, but the way these shows are structured and are conducted, they squander any potential they might have to help people make an informed decision about who to vote for. That’s a shame.