Lynn Yaeger’s Ground Rules For a Stultifyingly Dull Debate


1. Call it a Town Hall Meeting, then forbid attendees at said meeting from laughing, clapping, booing, or daring to make any sound at all.

2. Don’t feel compelled to entertain questions exclusively from these prisoners condemned to silence — instead, proffer none-too-fresh or interesting queries from mystery men and women (Joe Six Packs? Hockey Moms? Member of the “angry left?”) culled from the internet.

3. Make sure that the questions, whether procured from the Internet or from an audience member briefly permitted to talk (but no follow-ups from the peanut gallery — their mikes were shut off the minute they finished speaking) were essentially the same query over and over, mainly: “How will you get us out of the fucked-up mess we’re in?” (And they didn’t mean Iraq.)