Television viewers saw a total of three and a half hours of Republican candidates’ debates from New Hampshire over the weekend and only once was there a mention of rogue North Korea --- with zero discussion of the Communist nation pushing ahead with a nuclear weapons program under a new leader --- and no talk about global warming (rebranded climate change), the illegal immigrants situation in the U.S. and China’s military buildup while the U.S. chops its defense budget, observes Grumpy Editor.
But everyone --- questioners and other candidates --- targeted Mitt Romney.
An inordinate portion of Saturday night’s two-hour debate on ABC was consumed with commentator George Stephanopoulos asking Romney, “Do you believe states have the right to ban contraception, or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?”
That discussion spread to other candidates.
Ten hours later, NBC expanded its normal one hour “Meet the Press” to 90 minutes to bounce questions off the same six GOP candidates. David Gregory helmed that debate --- seen “live” in the east but on tape in the West.
A tape delay for the West also came with the Dec. 10 debate on ABC.
The problem with delayed viewing in the West is that alert debate followers already have heard sound bites on radio and TV news before viewing the replay. In addition, Web sites already had covered details and sparring among quizzers and candidates.
Fifteen minutes before the end of yesterday’s NBC debate, a quickie mention was made about North Korea --- but no questions or discussion followed.
One plus for the NBC taped-for-the-West version vs. ABC’s delayed release on Dec. 10: Unlike ABC’s misleading white-on-red LIVE “bug” above its logo in the bottom corner of the screen, NBC did not have that.