If you ask me, the debate was much more civil between Mayor Rocky Anderson and talk show host Sean Hannity last night than I thought it would be. It was entertaining, it was educational, and it was healthy. It wasn't perfect though. In remembrance of the Rockity I Debate, I present a handful of awards.
KSL Nightside implied that it was just short of a barroom brawl at Kingsbury Hall last night. I guess it didn't come across that way on TV. Although at one point I seriously wondered, "What happens if Hannity takes one more step into no-man's land toward Rocky? Will somebody punch somebody?"
Mr. Integrity: Rocky Anderson. Not once did he stoop to ad hominem name calling as did his interlocutor.
Vladimir Putin Budding KGB Agent Award: Did anyone else think it was a bit strange that Hannity admitted he had a picture of Rocky driving a car that had a "Kerry for President" bumper sticker?
It's Really About Me Award: First place--Hannity. If it's not about you, then don't say that it's not--especially don't say it five times. That sounds suspicious. Second place--Rocky. I heard him mention once "it's not about me or Sean" on KSL radio following the debates.
12th Man Award: Were you as surprised as I was that a handful of supporters of Mayor Anderson were by far the most discourteous members of the audience, often hardly letting Hannity speak half a sentence before they resorted to heckling him? Admittedly, Rocky was none to thrilled by this behavior either, as he told KSL after the debate.
Mr. Ad Hominem: Why at one point did Hannity repeatedly refer to Rocky as Ross when Rocky is his familiar name? What good did it do to call him a "part-time mayor, and full-time protestor?"
Best Supporting Foot in Mouth: Hannity was positive that Rocky had voted for John Kerry in the presidential election vs George Bush. His jaw dropped just a bit when Rocky stated for the record that he had voted for Ralph Nader.
The "This is a Question" Award: Rocky. Round two of the debate didn't suit Rocky very well, as he clearly wanted to pontificate much longer than the one minute which was alloted to ask his interlocutor a question.
I was impressed with both sides of the debate, but there was very little middle ground, as the Salt Lake Tribune said. There could have been much more middle ground.
Here's what I think Rocky could have said to contribute to a better debate.
And here's the contribution that I think Hannity could have made in that regard.