One of my themes in this blog is that the once proud profession of journalism oftentimes doesn't live up to its own professional standards. If you know something about that proud tradition, or about those professional standards, tell me what you think of this 29 second video and the articles that follow it.
Ok. If you are a professional journalist covering this debate, what do you think? Well, the first thing is that it's a terrible question for a "lightening round". The future of the EX-IM bank is actually quite complex. These are four extremely qualified candidates yet none of them could answer the question within the "lightening round" format.
If you were covering this debate, is this the question that you would focus on? All of them balked at the format. Stapley didn't know the answer, while Olson, Jones and Biggs requested more time and offered qualified answers. When refused extra time, Biggs gave the one-word answer--yes. He later clarified his answer with more of a "no." This is the article that ensued.
One of the tenets of journalism is fairness. Biggs asked for time to provide a full explanation to an inappropriate question on a complex issue that none of the candidates could answer. When he clarified that answer, and that "flop" became the story.
That's not fair and it's not journalism.