What Was She Thinking?
I’ve devoted at least fifteen seconds of focussed thought to the motivations behind WUSA-TV Anchor Peggy Fox’s question to George Allen in yesterday’s Fairfax debate.Â In case you missed it, the question was: “It has been reported that yourÂ grandfather Felix, whom you were given your middle name for, was Jewish.Â Could you tell us whether your forebears include Jews and, if so, at which point Jewish identity might have ended?”Â Allen’s response was appropriately one of incredulity.Â Better yet, the audience, a goodly portion of whom were probably not Allen supporters, immediately expressed their disgust with audible boos and hisses.Â But the questions about the question remains.Â
Where was Ms. Fox going with this question?Â What voter-valued information did she think it would elicit?Â Would the welfare of Virginia’s citizens be affected by the answer (whatever that might be)?Â Would we gain insights into the character or competence of George Allen by having that geneological information? Was there an implication that having Jewish ancestry is a bad thing? (Some of my favorite religious figures were Jewish, including my Most Favorite).
It is puzzling and reinforces the sentiment I expressed in yesterday’s post that I wish they would get away from having the press ask questions at these “debates.”Â There may be a need for a moderator to make the trains run on time, but we could do without the goofy questions from DC-based newsreaders.Â Â