As a broadcast journalist for many years whose beat was Westchester, I reported with an objective eye coupled with impeccable research and fact-checking. Those latter skills have served me well, as an attorney here in the same County. Now, however, I have been called upon to get back into the political fray as a commentator and what I witnessed last night at the Democratic primary debate for District Attorney appalled me, both as a journalist and as an attorney. I don’t have to be objective any longer; I don’t have an editor, a producer or a News Director – this is the fun part.
Westchester Democrats must select between incumbent Janet DiFiore and Tony Castro in next Tuesday’s primary election and I would urge all to watch repeats of the News 12 Westchester televised debate to witness the banality and juvenile behavior of two presumably intelligent , well-educated individuals. They are so concerned with beating each other and chasing their own tails that they avoid getting to the heart of any issue and gloss over anything of substance with pat responses and blatant misstatements. If DiFiore called Castro a liar once, she must have said it a dozen times; therefore, he was forced to address those statements and this went back and forth for an hour.
There’s an old joke: How do you know if a politician is lying – their lips are moving.
The debate spectacle is exactly the reason voters are disgusted with politics and politicians. They spend so much time and money patting themselves on the back with one hand and slapping their opponents with the other, it is amazing they don’t strangle themselves in the process with all of this cross-checking.
Once again, this season, I will be called upon to join my colleagues over at News 12 Westchester for a final debate in the DA race, to question the candidates one last time. My suggestion to them would be to drop their current media mongers and just speak directly to issues, the pros and cons, of things of importance and stop wasting time with schoolyard antics. It does not serve anyone and, in fact, it is quite boring!