Thursday, June 30, 2011

The one time you want a "yes or no" answer

We're all taught never to ask questions that would result in a one word answer. I mean, soundbites that short aren't terribly riveting.

Except when we're talking about politicians.

These "public servants" (and talk about a bogus term) can tap dance and filibuster around the most simple question. And with the 2012 elections getting closer, you're going to hear more of this from both sides. If you want to know exactly where a politician stands on a crucial issue, don't expect anything definitive.

Reporter: "So, do you believe in space aliens?"

Politician: "This issue is not whether or not I believe in little green men, but how we can fix the economy. And we've got to do something about the deficit..."

And when the politician is done talking, you still don't know if he believes in space aliens.

Doesn't matter if you're talking to a Democrat or Republican, they're all the same. Memo to the rookies in the business who actually believe politicians care about the public: a politician's number one issue is getting re-elected. And they will do anything, say anything to achieve that goal. That's why they carry around carefully crafted answers in their heads that aren't really answers. They can take any question and spin off on a tangent that let's them say what they really want to say.

Which is when you want the yes or no answer.

Didn't get what you're looking for the first time? Ask the question again:

Reporter: "Back to my original question, since I think we got off the track. We already know where you stand on the economy. But do you believe in space aliens?"

You'll probably get round two of the tap dance. So don't give up.

Reporter: "I'll make it simple this time. I just need a one word answer. Do you or don't you believe in space aliens? Yes or no?"

Still getting stonewalled? Ask it again. And again. And again until you get something. Do not move on to another question until you do. You've got plenty of tape.


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