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The kids get home from school and my son (HS Senior) starts telling me (rare!) about his Government class today. Bear in mind these are voting age kids, in High School on an overseas US military installation:
Son: We had to watch these nine Democrats debate today.
Me: What do you mean, had to?
Son: We watched it on TV in class...
Me: Watched what, exactly?
Son: "Rock the Vote", it was stupid.
Me: What did your classmates think of it?
Son: Oh they all thought it was dumb. Except this one annoying girl who says Bush is an idiot. But we all agreed they were losers.
Me: Why did you think so?
Son: They wouldn't give straight answers to any of the questions. They just kept dodging and changing the subject.
Me: They never said anything worthwhile?
Son: Well, finally someone asked whether they liked Macs or PCs and they answered that.
He did not know about this story. I swear to you this conversation is reproduced here as it happened, mere moments ago.
I still have a lot of follow up questions...
And while on the subject, I sure think this non-partisan organization looks awfully uh... Democratic to me.
I think they'll be unpleasantly surprised at the results of voting by the young people next year.
More on the scandal "rocking" Rock the Vote (for those who didn't click):
... During the program, which was taped at Boston's Faneuil Hall, Alexandra Trustman stepped up to the microphone and said: "I'm a freshman at Brown University. And going to college this year, I was confused with an important decision. My mom advised me one way, my dad the other. And so my question for you all is - and it's not quite boxers or briefs, but - Mac's, or PCs?"
Audience members then learned of the candidates' preferences, from former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean's personal computer, to Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman's hand-held wireless, to the Rev. Al Sharpton's playful "politically correct Mac."
But the question wasn't part of a conversation with young America at all. Trustman's question was a plant from CNN.
In a column published Monday in the Brown Daily Herald, Trustman tried to deflect her fellow students' derision. The question was dumb, they said. The question, from its topic to its formulation, was the invention of a CNN producer, she wrote.
As she recounted the episode in her column, Trustman said she was called by a CNN producer and told what to ask. When she suggested a broader query on technology, she was cut short. (Though she wrote she was frustrated that student journalists hadn't sought her perspective before criticizing her, Trustman declined to respond to messages via e-mail and telephone seeking interviews for this column.)
"He took a look at my question and told me I couldn't ask it because it wasn't lighthearted enough and they wanted to modulate the event with various types of questions - mine was to be on the lighthearted side," Trustman wrote. "The show's host [CNN's Anderson Cooper] wanted the Macs or PCs question asked, not because he was wondering about the candidates' views of technology, but because he thought it would be a good opportunity for the candidates to relate to a younger audience."
She continued: "At this point it was clear to me that the question would be asked regardless of whether I was the person to ask it. ... [T]he opportunity to be involved in Rock the Vote outweighed any criticism I thought would come from the question."
And it was the only question a group of 18 year olds thought was answered truthfully. Draw your own conclusions.