Talking Cultural Diversity

a discussion board for cultural and diversity issues by Thomas Kochman and Jean Mavrelis

Missing the Point

By Thomas Kochman - 10.13.2012

Rules governing U.S. mainstream discourse deal with format and style, not substance. Sentences are parsed less for their substance, than for the manner in which things are said.

In the first Presidential debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, the media and public in general declared Obama the loser because his presentational style was too “professorial” and “conciliatory.”

In the last Vice Presidential debate, Joe Biden’s performance vis-à-vis Paul Ryan was downgraded, because he “interrupted.”

On CNN, ratings on who won the debate come in before the viewers were given the “reality” or, “fact-check”.

Yet in service of truth telling, misstatement of facts needs to be challenged when they are being said.

Doubt has to be planted early before those hearing it can give credence to it.

This is especially true when the attention span of people is limited.

The edge and moment is lost waiting until someone has finished.

Has anyone considered that when creating the format of a debate?

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