The Most Ignorant Debate Analysis in America

Asked who won the town hall between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama, Los Angelenos were emphatic. The problem: The event hadn't yet happened.

The undecided voters at Tuesday's town hall in New York have been criticized for the worst of their questions, but credit them with this much: No one erroneously imagined that they'd seen the candidates debate the previous day. That gives them a leg up on the folks in the video below, who were stopped on Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles for a segment on the Jimmy Kimmel show.

"Who won last night's debate?" they were asked.

The catch? The debate wouldn't actually take place for a few more hours.



I don't particularly care when people are uninformed about politics. What's alarming about these interviewees is that they're simultaneously ignorant of the facts and fully conversant in the idiom. They have no idea what's going on, but either think they do or want to broadcast their feigned knowledge. Had this been broadcast a day later, almost all of the comments would be received as genuine reactions ... which makes me wonder about every "after-debate" interview. I also wonder how many folks they had to question to get the footage that made the broadcast.

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Conor Friedersdorf is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he focuses on politics and national affairs. He lives in Venice, California, and is the founding editor of The Best of Journalism, a newsletter devoted to exceptional nonfiction.

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