One of the reasons I started this blog was to encourage health exchanges between folks with opposing viewpoints. I heard a great example of such a healthy exchange recently.
If you have 18 minutes to spare, click here and listen to the podcast of a radio talk show host go toe-to-toe with Senator from Missouri, Claire McCaskill (look in the podcast window on the right of the page in the August 11 podcasts).
Host Greg Knapp does a good job at doing something that is hard to do — hold a politician accountable for not giving a straight answer. Other journalists should study this podcast. They should also know their stuff. Knapp seems to and is able to come back and not get bulldozed by the lofty and voluminous words of a career politician from the highest level.
The conversation covers the debt ceiling increase, the fact that Democrats hadn’t passed a budget for quite some time, health care, calling tax breaks ‘subsidies’ (something McCaskill is famous for) and whether McCaskill takes the corporate jet tax break that Obama wants to get rid of. It would have been funny if Knapp would have asked if she considers that a subsidy from other taxpayers (I think he might have under his breath).
I’ll also give credit to McCaskill for going into hostile territory and sticking it out against a worthy opponent. I’ll be surprised if she comes on his show again. I doubt she has ever had her platitudes challenged so well before.
Such healthy exchanges are rare in this country. At all levels, we seem to avoid confronting those with opposing viewpoints.