Thursday, September 15, 2005

What Really Bothers Me: No Answer Answers

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You know what I'm talking about...a TV interviewer asks someone a question like:

"Do you agree with X?"

Now any four-year-old knows that there are only three real answers to this question: Yes, No, or I don't know.

Simple right?

Well how come a straight answer to a Yes or No question is becoming more and more rare these days? Often at the end of an interview I realise that the person never even answered the question at all! They just went on and on endlessly about their latest talking point/book/show.

Obviously it pays for the person being interviewed to spout the same lame talking points over and over. And if you get a whole bunch of people parroting the same thing in different interviews...well apparently that's even more effective (think of those Daily Show montages showing 30 Republicans saying the same canned talking point phrase).

But what I don't understand is why the interviewers put up with it. What's so hard about saying "Hey, you didn't answer my question"? If you can't do that then what's the point of doing an interview at all? Why not just drop all pretense and give those being "questioned" a couple minutes to air the commercial of their choice promoting whatever they've come to promote?

I find myself watching these kinds of shows less and less because...well...what's the point? It's obvious what will be said before anyone even utters the first word. I could be doing something more enjoyable with my time. Like getting a root canal.

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