While interviewing CBS's Bob Schieffer for my Broadcasting & Cable column, about his preparations and expectations for Wednesday's final 2008 presidential debate, I threw him what might have been a curve, but which he caught gracefully and gratefully.
I asked him about the live 2005 West Wing episode in which Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits -- playing, respectively, a maverick Republican senator and a charismatic minority Democrat -- impulsively scrapped the established rules and agreed to conduct a no-holds-barred actual debate on live TV. Schieffer had indeed seen it, so asked him: What if, on Wednesday, John McCain and Barack Obama did the same thing?
"You know what?" Schieffer said to me, after he stopped laughing heartily. "If they did that, I would say, 'Gentlemen, have at it.' I would lean back in my chair, and I would probably enjoy it more than anyone else. That would be the dream, wouldn't it?"
Schieffer is the last best hope for one good debate to come out of this election cycle, so I wish him luck, whether or not he gets to moderate. For my full Broadcasting & Cable column with Schieffer, click here.
And, for a Broadcasting & Cable sidebar with a few extra quotes from that interview, including Schieffer's opinion of Jon Stewart, click here.
Finally, since I'm steering traffic that way anyway, I may as well finish (and reduce my own word count for the day) by providing one final link, to my Broacasting & Cable blog review of tonight's My Own Worst Enemy on NBC, starring Christian Slater as a man with two identities. To read that, click here. (I like the headline: "My Minds Are Made Up About NBC's 'My Own Worst Enemy.'")
Hey -- working on this website, while also writing for Broacasting & Cable, teaching college, appearing on Fresh Air and working on my Smothers Brothers book, I know how he feels about multiple identities...