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Clinton - Lazio Debate Includes Question about Email Hoax

ABCnews.com is reporting that the moderator of the second Hillary Clinton - Rick Lazio Debate stumped the candidates with a question about Bill 602P. Marcia Kramer, a correspondent for WCBS-TV in New York asked {a question apparently directed at Mrs. Clinton}, "I'd like to ask you how you stand on federal bill 602P... under the bill thatís
now before Congress, the U.S. Postal Service will bill
e-mail users 5 cents for each e-mail they send even though
the post office provides no service."

Neither candidate had any idea what Kramer was talking about, although both voiced some degree of opposition to the concept. The reason that they were stumped is that the viewer-submitted question is based on an email hoax that has been circulating for well over a year.

It seems that broadcasters cannot resist the temptation to include an on-line component in their programs, even when they run the risk of gaffes like this one. However, the performance of Marcia Kramer in this instance shows the extent of the pressure that journalists feel. Obviously, Kramer should never have asked the question if she:

  • didn't understand it, or
  • understood it but wasn't familiar with the issue.

We wonder how long it will be before a candidate is asked if he agrees that the case of imprisoned political activist Ba Ba Booey should be reviewed with an eye toward giving him an unconditional pardon?

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