`Sound Bites' Give Indigestion Gephardt Urges Formal Debates, Questions for President

By Robert L. Koenig Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), September 29, 1993 | Go to article overview

`Sound Bites' Give Indigestion Gephardt Urges Formal Debates, Questions for President


Robert L. Koenig Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Decrying "sound-bite" politics, House Majority Leader Richard A. Gephardt called Tuesday for both British-style debates and "question periods" with the president in Congress.

"Increasingly, we are losing our capacity to conduct a rational, deliberate, and civil discourse on a whole range of vital issues," Gephardt said in a speech to the Center for National Policy, a think tank.

Two of those issues, Gephardt said, are the debates over health care and the North American Free Trade Agreement - in which, he contended, too many "rely on emotional phrases, catchy sound bites and visual excitement."

Gephardt, D-Mo., said, "We must modify and expand television's coverage of the Congress - and government in general - to enhance in-depth questioning and development of national policy."

Toward that end, the majority leader suggested:

Initiating "Oxford-style" debates in the House, with four-person teams of opponents and proponents allowed to cross-examine each other's statements and positions on issues.

Gephardt said such debates - to be held at least once a week - would add depth to the usual "speechifying," the two- or five-minute sound bites that dominate the House floor.

Invite the president to "come to Congress for a question period from time to time," in addition to the usual practice of addressing joint sessions of Congress at least once a year.

Such question periods - unprecedented in U.S. history - might resemble the "question time" that Britain's prime minister undergoes twice a week in the House of Commons. But Gephardt said the president's appearance would be voluntary - and far less frequent.

"It would be great `theater,' great `pictures' - and it would make for better public policy," Gephardt said.

President Bill Clinton and his White House aides seriously considered the "question period" idea after Gephardt first broached it in February. But sources said that House Speaker Thomas S. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

`Sound Bites' Give Indigestion Gephardt Urges Formal Debates, Questions for President
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.