Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Open Marriages and Noisy Audiences?

TO OPEN THE GOP presidential debate over the weekend, CNN's John King asked Newt Gingrich about the allegations by his former wife regarding Gingrich's request for an "open marriage."

Is that an appropriate question to ask? Is that good journalism?

The audience went wild with Gingrich's response. During the next GOP presidential debate, the studio audience was asked to remain silent during the event. The rationale was that the audience would act like a laugh track, telling the viewing audience when to laugh, cry, smile, boo, etc.

Should the audience be allowed to react? Or would that influence the home audience?


Chase Senior said...

John King opening the republican debate with such a personal question, that I'm sure Gingrich is highly sensitive about is unacceptable. This debate was shown on CNN, a nationally televised station and Gingrich had no choice but to react the way he did because King put him on the spot which in turn. Because of the major importance of the debate, Gingrich basically had no choice but to battle back because if he had stayed silent, it would of made him look bad.
As for the audience and crowd noise, that shall be saved for sporting events and Jerry Springer. It egged Gingrich on to the extent where he tore King into pieces, which he deserved but not in front of such a wide, proper audience, with important topics to be discussed.

Emily DiCicco said...

I believe that it was appropriate for King to ask. Gingrich chose to put himself in the public eye. With that decision, he chose to put himself up for public criticism about both his public life and his private life. The way he carries himself in his personal life (for example, being unfaithful to his wife) shows how he may carry himself in his position. King is entitled to ask Gingrich questions, even those which may make the presidential hopeful feel uncomfortable.
I believe that the audience should be allowed to react. Its reaction is a form a free speech. Additionally, those at home should be able to form their own opinions regardless of how the TV audience reacts.

Matt Hulmes said...

That question was apart of the news during that time, and it reflects the character of the person we're going to elect as president.
The main problem I have though is with John King and how he seemed to back down after Newt's response. Yes, perhaps it is not the most important question to begin a debate with, but couldn't John King counter with Newt's response of how it's gross to start a discussion about the debate on the topic with the irony of how he comments on how appropriate it is of a question to ask, when he was trying to have a open marriage, and has been divorced and married three times, and then tie in how that is important with the fact that Newt is running on a platform where he has claimed numerous times about the importance of the sanctity of marriage? In this way, it is an appropriate question, but instead of following up with this, John King backs down, and not even by accepting Newt's response, he then tries to defend himself, giving Newt more fuel to assist his argument, which only adds to the entertainment for the audience. It's a poor example of journalism. A good question, just poor journalism.

Ali Watkins (J1111 Throwback!) said...

Hey Professor Miller, I'm just surfing around blogspot, figured I'd drop in and see what was up on the good 'ole J1111 blog. This was mildly painful to watch, I hated seeing the poor journalist get ripped to shreds. True, perhaps not the best way to start a presidential debate, but it's an issue that needs to be addressed by newt at some point. And can I point out, Gingrich, when asked if he'd care to respond to the allegations, says 'No, but I will.' I don't think he responded to the allegations as much as he went at John King like a rabid dog.

Should the marital woes of presidential candidates be a considered issue when it comes to nominations? Some may say hey, let them do what they want to do behind closed doors. Well I used to really like John Edwards too, until he turned out to be scum of the earth. I'd love to hear an honest response from Newt, but I don't think we'll ever get one.

As far as the audience, I think their reactions help the debate along, it makes it a little more exciting. I would hope that the home audience is astute enough to realize that those chairs are probably filled with Republicans, hence the constant cheering.

Interesting situation though, I wonder how many more times he's going to have to field questions about his 'open marraige' request...