MS-NBC features another how-dare-ABC-ask-Dem-candidates-questions post-debate essay, this time from the New Yorker. It offers absolutely nothing new except even more of an Olbermannesque sense of outrage than usual, even for MS-NBC. However, it throws in a new twist about how quickly ABC cut to its first commercial:

Last Wednesday’s two-hour televised smackdown in Philadelphia between the two remaining Democratic candidates for President, which might have been billed as the Élite Treat v. the Boilermaker Belle, turned into something worse—something akin to a federal crime. Call it the case of the Walt Disney Company v. People of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (and of the United States, for that matter). Seldom has a large corporation so heedlessly inflicted so much civic damage in such a short space of time.

None of the other debates had been models of philosophic rigor. But, right from the start, there were clues that the sponsor of this one—ABC News, a part of the ABC network, which is owned by Disney—might establish new benchmarks of degradation. After brief opening statements from the candidates, Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, ABC immediately cut to an advertisement for a cell-phone company. A commercial? Already? Were candidates for President of the United States being used as teasers?

Well, this is certainly something new — a magazine complaining about excessive advertisements. Just for the record, the article itself gets interrupted by an ad for a mortgage company and again for a block of links to other New Yorker stories. Besides that, the page features the following advertisements:

  • MSN Shopping
  • Entrepeneur.com
  • Perfect Match
  • $7 online trades
  • Monster.com
  • Homepages.com
  • A home-income MLM plan
  • “Decreased Cellulite and Increased Libido!”
  • GulfEthanolCorp
  • Lasers Pine Institute
  • DebtAmerica
  • Perfect Match (again)
  • Monster.com (again)
  • MSN Auto
  • Homepagescom (again)
  • Entrepeneur..com (again)
  • Scottrade
  • Mentested.com
  • DebtAmerica (again)
  • PEGASYS
  • Lasik Plus
  • Allied Health Schools
  • A number of NBC promotions

What was their complaint again? Oh, right, that news and entertainment via free media has to get underwritten by advertisements. Glad to see General Electric is above such grubby efforts.