CBS asked a group of undecided voters dwellers in TV-free caves whether watching this debate had helped them to finally make up their minds.
i, I'm Leslie Stahl
, and I'm with a group of undecided voters who just watched the first presidential debate between Our Darling Own True Love™ Senator Qerry and another guy. Let's find out what they thought of it.
"Hi, I'm Leslie Stahl. Please tell us your name and why you thought Mr. Qerry did such a wonderful job during this debate."
"My name is Travis. But I didn't think he did a good job at all."
"Thank you, Travis. Let's ask someone else now. Hi, I'm Leslie Stahl. What is your name and what convinced you that Mr. Qerry should be our next president."
"I'm Jean and I haven't been convinced. He looks and sounds too shady to be a president, especially during a war. I thought he—"
"You've hogged enough of our precious time, Jean. Let's be courteous and let someone else speak for a change. Let me try the back row now. Hello, I'm Leslie Stahl. What is your name and at what point in the debate did you decide that the other guy was a chimpanzee?"
"What are you talking about? I may not pay that much attention to politics but I do know that was President George Bush in the debate. The other guy looked like a baboon, not our president."
"I'm sorry, sir. You were supposed to give your name first. We won't be—"
"My name's Bob and I still think—"
"Sir, it's too late. We won't be asking you—"
"I still think that senator guy looked and acted like a baboon. He—"
"We won't be asking you any more questions. Please stop answering or I'll have you removed. Let's try this sweet old lady at the end and find out what she thought. Hi, I'm Leslie Stahl and what made you decide to vote for Mr. Qerry this November?"
"And why will you be voting for Mr. Qerry?"
"I live in Poughkeepsie."
"That's nice. Now tell us, Matilda, why do you agree with everyone here that Mr. Qerry is so wonderful?"
"Do you know anyone else who lives in Poughkeepsie?"
"Please answer the question, Matilda. How come you've decided to vote for Mr. Qerry?"
"Mr. who? Does he live in Poughkeepsie?"
"No. Now why are you going to vote for him? Just answer the question."
"Yes, I do live in Poughkeepsie."
"Listen, you bag of old bones, I don't give a flyin' flop which peasant hellhole you live in. But I do have your address, and if you don't vote for Qerry I'll find out and come to your house and break your osteoporosis-ridden arms. Do you hear me!—No, stop crying. Stop! Let me ask my producer to have you removed. You're being too disruptive.
"I'd like to apologize to our viewer for that. We apparently didn't screen her as well as we should've. She was obviously a Repugglican plant. Just goes to show you how low they'll stoop, using sweet old ladies like that to disrupt our fair and balanced discussion. Now where were we? Can I hear from someone who has decided to vote for Mr. Qerry after watching the debate?
"Anyone? Anyone at all?
"Well, all right then. It seems we're out of ti—Yes? You with your hand up, you'll be voting for Mr. Qerry?"
"My name is Dora, and I don't think it was very nice of you, the way you treated that old lady. I—"
"Thanks, Dora. I see you're clearly in cahoots with her. Do you want to tell everyone here and the person watching tonight why Karl Rove put you up to this?"
"I don't know any Karl Rove. I just don't like—"
"A likely story, Dora. If that's you're real name. I bet it's really Laura or Karen or even Condi. Isn't it? Isn't it!"
"Well, we're out of time. I'll turn it back over to you, Dan. Obviously, we've been infiltrated by a bunch of vastly conspiring right-wing Republitzer plants. They're probably behind all those questionable memos you innocently received a few weeks ago too."
"Leslie, this is Dan. I think you're right. Thanks for bravely putting up with that dirty trick they tried to pull off on all our viewer. What? Oh, my producer's telling me there might be more than one. Okay, so that's viewers, then. Thanks again, Leslie.
"Well, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. We tried to get the honest reaction of a few undecided voters to the presidential debate and were sideswiped by the dirty tricks of the Bush Campaign. It's a sad commentary on the state of our political process when a Republican—it should come as no surprise—resorts to stifling the freedom of the press in this manner.
"Sitting next to me is Democratic Party Chairman Terry McAuliffe, who asked to come on earlier so he could respond to the dirty trick that he told us he expected the Republicans would try to pull with our focus group. I have to say, Terry, you were right."
"Just as I said they would, Dan."
"Well, we have to break for a commercial right now, but I'd like your reaction when we come back."
"Good. We'll find out more about this dirty trick when we return. Stay tuned right here to CBS's expanded coverage of the first presidential debate.
"In the meantime: Courage."
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