TelevisionWeek is teaming up with TV industry veteran Marianne Paskowski. The blog will give Marianne a forum to convey her deep knowledge of the industry and pass along some of the juicy morsels she's hearing on the grapevine. Marianne has covered the TV industry from the inside out and top to bottom, and TVWeek's readers are bound to benefit from her sharp eyes, ears and wit. TVWeek.com invites readers to jump online, chime in and pick Marianne's brain on the latest industry news.


Marianne Paskowski

Obama Shames McCain Into Ole Miss Debate

September 26, 2008 9:53 AM

Sen. Barack Obama

Sen. Barack Obama

At 11:30 a.m. EDT today, Sen. John McCain’s team announced that he would be attending the first presidential debate in Oxford, Miss., this evening.

Earlier McCain announced that he was suspending his campaign and would not attend the debate, saying that it was more important to him and the country for him to stay in Washington to hammer out a bailout plan for Wall Street.

Obama, to me, demonstrated his leadership by saying that he was attending and that a president has to have the skill to handle more than one problem at a time.

Tonight’s presidential debate, the first of three, was supposed to focus largely on geo-political issues. Given the new twists of the bailout plan, and how large it has become, I hope the focus of tonight’s discussion tackles the question of who the government is actually bailing out, Wall Street or Main Street.

Obama did the right thing by insisting that the show must go on. And in the process I think he took a lot of wind out of McCain’s sails. Do you?


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Comments (42)


I so agree with you here. Obama looked like a leader. McCain looks like a whimp. Will be interesting to see how things play out tonight and if McCain will be ready.



Obama was ably assisted by McCain's own miscues: the Letterman debacle, the posturing at the White House yesterday, and the announcement he is suspending his campaign, when all that meant was that he flew to Washington to campaign there instead.

I am an undecided voter.

Over the past three days McCain's own bumbling and posturing nudged me firmly in the other direction.


Marianne Paskowski:


I don't even know why McCain bothered to go to the bail out meetings, he said absolutely nothing.

So now we now know that in additional to his lack of computer skills, he is not a multi-tasker.

Thanks for your post,

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Cory,

These are scary times for all. Bulk shippers can't leave ports in Greece because they can't get credit.

McDonald's franchisees are in the same boat, with BofA cutting them off, too.

We need a deal, and not a political side show. Can't wait to watch this debate tonight. The FDIC shut down Washington Mutual last night. I want the candidates to veer from the geo-political track tonight and address the U.S. economic mess.

Thanks for the post,

Robert Jackson:

This is truly fascinating. I am sitting in Birmingham, England, watching all of this evolve, hour by hour, over the internet.

I have seen reports that John McCain is claiming that he has won the debate. Yes it's 9pm in England right now and in my part of the space-time continuum I reckon that the debate should be starting in maybe 5, 6, 7 hours or so because the earth rotates so as to make our clocks run ahead of yours in the USA.

In which part of the space-time continuum is the RNC operating, please?


Robert in England.

Steve P:

I hate to inject some reality into this liberal fairyland but here goes. The Dems attempted to hijack this process by announcing a deal was done before McCain got back to town yesterday. Further, the Dems at the White House meeting deferred to the "Messiah" so he could lead the meeting and demonstrate that great leadership finely honed in the community organizer years. When Barack Obama took the floor he immediately set about criticizing the House Republicans who were trying to craft a more private market solution instead of one that depends entirely on taxpayer dollars.

Those House Republicans were told they were going to the White House for a negotiating session and when they got angered and Obama got challenged on his stance, the meeting went sideways and Obama couldn't get the room back to order. That's your great leader for you. Mr. "Call me if you need me" Obama.

Let's face the facts that the Democrats have the votes to pass this legislation as is in both chambers of the legislative branch. Why do they need the Republicans on board if this is such a winner? Pass the bill as is and take all the credit. Can't quite figure out why they don't want to do that. Has Mr. Obama stated his position on the current plan yet?

When sizable parts of the Republican plan get passed, I think you might find yourself rewriting this blog entry. It would appear that Mr. Obama voted present once more when a tough issue came up.

Marianne Paskowski:

Well it's 5:40 p.m. EDT on Cape Cod and I guess the only debate McCain won was with himself, to not be a no-show tonight at Ole Miss.

Over the pond, I'm sure you think this is D.C. Follies all over again. And you would be spot on if you think that.

Thanks for your post,


ahahahaha. You post is actually very funny. Yes someone Presidential says "I will be by the phone if you need me" when we are talking about nothing that has happened in generations. Actuallly ever! Shamed McCain? hahahahahahaha. Maybe Obama should be ashamed of turning down bi-partisan town hall debates (10 in all) flying side by side in a spirit of cooroperation. The Democrats have control of the Senate and House yet they don't want to take the blame for this plan. Sounds fish. Harry Reid asked for McCains help then when he showed up said he was being political. The Dems are so hell bent on a 60 seat fillibuster proof senate, more control of the House and the Presidency that they will say and do anything they can in front of a teleprompter since most idiots in this country vote via social network blogging sites, blogs, and sound bites and fancy photo opps from Germany. One of the greatest Democrats that has been in the White House Bill Clinton put it best "I don't see McCains move as political. That is just standard John McCain and I think he is doing the right thing. If a debate needs to be moved a few days it is no big deal. McCain if I am not mistaken has asked for 10 debates and townhalls with Obama and he never did anything about it." Not word for word but pretty damn close. Clinton has even defended McCain twice! The hatred in this election is makinig every putrid and pathetic. I am proud to be an American just not sharing the same blogosphere as most of the clueless people that don't even know that the Democrats were in charge of Fannie and Freddie and are just as corrupt if not more than any Republican. Leader lead. They don't look slick and lay back and give great speeches. With the exception of Regan and Clinton. Two great leaders!

There's a whole lotta Horse Puckey going on.

Where's the Pea? Under this shell? Under THIS shell?

A very interesting concept came forward today.

Instead of giving $700 Billion to the insulvent, poorly run, non-regulated institutions on Wall Street, leaving all the people still in debt.

Pay off all the bad credit debt which leaves Main Street out of debt, for the most part, and frees up needed credit for individuals and businesses.

With new regulations in place for more responsible lending, the old machine would heal itself in a matter of a short space of time and the people would not be loosing their cars, homes and businesses.

As for the "Debate", let the "Show" go on for that is all it will be, but I would guess the Senator from Arizona shot himself in the foot when he said emphatically that he would not attend.

What will next week bring? What's happening somewhere that we should really know about that all this hoopla has been covering up, diverting our attention from?

Who knows? The SHADOW Knows.

Join us next week for the continuing saga, EXPOSING THE SHAMS...brought to you by MR. CLEAN.
Peter Bright


Oh Marianne, you should be ashamed for being so stupid about McCains computer skills. Have you been reading or listening to the news for the past month? Do to his injuries in the military he is not able to sit and use a mouse. Someone helps him. Do you really think he does not know what goes on? Sorry you went over the line and need to be smacked for your non credible and insensitive disgusting post on that matter. Who the hell are you? Someone I need to fire when I take over Tv Week?

Marianne Paskowski:


Thanks for the needed nuances that you raise in your post.

Yes, the Dems could have pushed through the Bush/Bernanke/Paulson plan, but they chose not to because this is, after all, an election year.

The American public wants something, but not what was originally proposed by the Bush team that apeared to be a bail out for Wall Streeet at the expense of Wall Street.

The original bail out plan, not that we ever knew any details of it, or still do, outraged American taxpayers, who didn't understand anything about it either, except that they would shoulder some of the cost while the CEO's who brought the collapse walked away with millions.

That ticks me off, too. But remember, we still have no bail out plan, so we don't know what the it actually is, for now.

I appreciate your views from the other side, all sides are welcome and respected here.



Oh and one last thing. Had anyone actually listened to the Republican plan, they would have seen them talk about a sliding scale plan that would not put up all the money at once and would be a series of loans and not a bailout for Wall Street. This would virtually have the same effect without the tax payers getting stuck. They ran this bill through. And this is why John McCain and Obama need to be in Washington and doing their jobs and not voting "present." A debate is words. A bill that will forever change America into a socialist financial government much like Europe is appalling. We escaped Britian and now we are more like them then different. Ignorance is not bliss in this case. Time to go offshore with money and forget this government.


What a pile of sh*t. The fight on Thursday occurred because the White House and the Democrats wanted to push their deal without allowing for the Republicans to present theirs. That is the reason McCain went to Washington in the first place to make the Republican recommendation public. In other words the American taxpayer would have ended up fully responsible for Wall Streets corruption.

Marianne Paskowski:

I actually agree with you on some of your points, namely it was a mistake for Obama to turn down McCain's requests for 10 or more town hall meetings.

Of course, I'm well aware that the Dems were in power with Fannie and Freddie, but the GOP did nothing to fix it. Instead they sent the country to a costly war in Iraq that cannot be won and alienated us from countries that were once our allies.

And Frank, when you take over TV Week, let's have a chat about freedom of speech. You don't seem to like it.

However, I appreciate that you stepped up to the plate here to add to the discussion.


Michael J.:

Come on Marrianne! "Shamed" is such an inaccurate word. Actually "forced" is more appropriate because Obama is so focused on winning the election that the bailout, or whatever you want to call it, is secondary. Charles Gibson asked Obama last night what he would bring to the table at the Whitehouse meeting and Obama refused to comment. Laughable! I agree with Steve P. the Dems want to blame Republicans if this plan doesn't work. That equals a stalemate!


Well put Campbell. I am an Independent. I have voted for both parties in the past. I may be leaning McCain but I am still not 100% But seeing the rhetoric and kill Bush and the republicans at any cost type of garbage I have seen in the Liberal media right down to the hate mongers on the Daily Koz and Moveon.org have turned me vigillante in protection of McCain. The sad thing is that most Democrats like him (including Biden and Hilary). But they are so hell bent that the whole country has turned into a sewer of words and thoughts and assasinations. No matter what the outcome is, America will gets its Karma. And I hope that many loose their jobs, house, and whatever else they loose (mostly their integrity).

Marianne Paskowski:


You raise some interesting points, but the problem in large I think is the lack of transparency. As we bloviate away, more banks are being seized or acquired and the business model is crumbling away.

That's what's going on behind the scenes. WaMu today, maybe Wachovia next? We just don't know, do we?



ahahaha. You got me on that one Marianne. Freedom of speech it is. I am myself pathetic for getting so angry. I apologize on that. But as for the rest, you have to admit it has been a get Obama in at any cost type of frenzy that has never been seen before thanks to technology. I am all for Barak getting in as long as the Democrats dont register illegal aliens and dead people again, lol ... I love TV week btw =) Frank

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Michael,
Semantics, "shamed," "forced," whatever, I'm glad the debate will go on tonight so that we can hear from whoever the next president of this broken country is come November.

Thanks for your post,


Btw Marianne, are you cute? lol. Just thought I woul be sexist cuz lately I have seen some pretty hot Democrats ... hahaha. Just trying to lighten the tone on a Friday when we all should be focused on ratings and show content. That is if we do that for a living and I do that.

Again, love TV Week!

La Hunter:

I am in agreement with your opinion about this mess. I've been watching this craziness unfold without trying to be biased, and I agree with Senator Obama's stance. Why does Senator McCain believe he has the right to decide whether to cancel the debate and go to Washington because the 'people' of this country need him? Well Senator McCain the 'people' of this country have needed you for the past eight years. Why haven't you supported us? I guess you decided to only support your wealthy friends that own as many houses as you. In my opinion, all this nonsense could of been avoided if Senator McCain picked up the phone and contacted both the Dems and Reps that were working on this plan and requested an update. Then I believe Senator McCain could of made a decision based on facts and not emotions the way a real Presidental candidate should.

La Hunter

Marianne Paskowski:


So are you saying Bush, Bernanke and Paulson are Democrats? Remember those GOP leaders are the architects of Plan A.

I think it took way too long to the GOP to hear the alarm clock. Finally.

Thanks for your post,

Marianne Paskowski:

I'm not just cute, I'm red hot on the trail here. So when do I get my raise when you take over TV week??

Warning: I don't eat moose burgers nor am I a card-carrying member of the NRA. Bad resume, huh? Glad you love TV Week, I do, too,keep me employed!

Marianne Paskowski:

La Hunter,

You know you raise a really interesting point here, where in the hell was McCain during the last eight years?

Buying real estate, the core of the current problem. Where was the transparency here? Non-existing.

The so-called "securities" in banking, apparently don't exist. Basically unregulated, unlike other trading vehicles. Every bank is in trouble, or on the brink of it, and that's what bugs me about the GOP. They let this happen, although you can indeed trace it back to Clinton with Fannie and Freddie.

Apparently the reconstruction of the banks is well underway. Let's see what the candidates have to say tonight. Something I hope, but I'm not expecting much.

Thanks for your post,


Well Marianne, I am a Vegetarian/Vegan and I don't shoot guns and pro choice. Just goes to show you I am truly a real live Independent. And it is over my pay grade to tell you about you keeping your job, hahahaha. Okay, I know, serious column, shhhhh


Yo Marianne --

I guess I'm coming late to your evidently very popular, or controversial, blog about the debate. Those wing-nut defenders of John McCain dare not acknowledge the obvious: McCain is getting so senile he wants to use any ruse that's possibly credible to duck the debate. Obama and the rest of the country shamed him into going, especially when his excuse of a trip to Washington only showed he's an empty suit on economic issues.

Cruisin not Bruisin

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Frank,
Glad to see you're back. Did you just get back from your bank to withdraw your money out?

You know I do watch the news, all day all night Marianne, as someone once sang, and people are withdrawing big time. Dumb, not FDIC insured once you do that.

I have no idea who you are, but welcome to the blog, we need some humor up here and you do provide that.


Raptor Ron:

As for Obama's observation that the Prez has to be able to handle more than one crisis at a time, McCain's got that all figured out. Sarah Palin will fill on whatever second, third, fourth, etc. crises pop up in a McCain White House. Sarah will also fill in when McCain takes his afternoon naps.


Marianne Paskowski:


Finally, a note of sanity from you! I don't mean to demean McCain, but I just don't like him. He has a nasty temper, left a crippled wife to run off with a beer heiress, and now this crap.

BTW, you made a really good point, questioning whether he is senile. I agree, I think he is and over his head.

Always good to hear from you, m


I wanted to write for SNL but instead I create these damn programs we watch. As for banks, they annoy me with their long lines here in Cali anyway so, I would be too pissed off waiting for my money, haha. No one has ever lost their money in an FDIC bank so the same people are hiding their money in bird baths and their mattresses. Oh wait, I am Sicilian ... no relation to the Sopranos. Yeah we could all use a little humor while we are all being so uncivil to each other. Not breaking out the incense or into a kumbayah but, if we really knew who was running the country and the World ... oh wait, much deeper for a deeper discussion. Happy debating. Not sure if I am ordering Dominoes or California Pizza Kitchen. Veggie of course. Moose is not on the menu and I don't eat meat =) Frank Ps - is it just me or is Obama not very hip? I think he learned Hip Hop from that designer on last nights Project Runway, hahaha (only a joke if you watch TV) Word, Peace, Out ... I have to write my $10K check to uncle same (not a misprint since they are all republicrats and Demicans)

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Raptor,
Good point. How can Sarah take care of "stuff" while McCain is napping when she has all of those kids and now her daughter's on the way?

She has no experience, saw a great video today, somewhere about Alaskans demonstrating against her.

Hope the debate tonight is as lively as this blog has been so far. I doubt it will be, sadly.

Love hearing from all sides.

Thanks for your post, m

For Your Information, geo-poliitcs plays hand in hand with the economy. The US dollar is being devalued on purpose and that started in 1971 when Nixon took us for the gold standard. Global politics is a part of our economic disaster we are facing now, so in a way, wall street is global versus main street America and the end of our national identity.

Marianne Paskowski:


Please. Of course I understand global economies as both an active investor and trader.(I don't own media stocks.)

However, the global economic meltdown, today, is directly related to the US subprime lending mess.

That's what you're seeing, the rapid meltdown of U.S. banks, bad paper, and nobody knows where it is, and when America sneezes the rest of the world gets the flu.

Look at the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China)

The world wants to hear what the US is doing to shore up this mess. And that's why it's so important that the candidates give us some insight, tonight. If they have it.

Thank you for your post,

Marianne Paskowski:


Hope you enjoy your vegan pizza. Eel of course, yes? No idea. We're carbo loading for tonight's pres debate.

OK, apparently you're a writer who aspires to work for SNL? What do you actually do?

Whatever you do tonight review your portfolio online and you might be surprised. Get ready for Monday, gonna be bad.

As for the SDIC, don't assume anything as banks consolidate and will have to cough up more coverage per account, presently now at$100,000 as savers move their money around, and find out, in the end, that they are in one of three places that can't possibly cover them.

Enjoy your pizza, m


I thought this was a blog for TV news, not political views. Marianne, I come to your blog for TV industry news...that's what it says on your profile at the top of page. I don't care about your views or opinions on politics and who is right and wrong. Tell us TV news about the debate only, not your opinion on who showed leadership. This is not an editorial piece. And shame on TV Week for allowing you to voice your political opinions.

"Marianne has covered the TV industry from the inside out and top to bottom, and TVWeek's readers are bound to benefit from her sharp eyes, ears and wit." Sorry, but I don't see it.

Marianne Paskowski:


Give me a break. I gave you news the moment it happened that McCain would debate tonight, and what I, and now others think as the evening evolves.

Politics, not "Dancing with the Stars," is THE television story.

But maybe not for you.I do editorialize, I am a blogger. And that's what I'm paid to do.

I could write and handicap which cable and broadcast networks will win or not win their 9 a.m. EDT time slots and why. Is that what you want? If so, don't look here.

Who cares at such a critical juncture in our country?

Sorry I disappointed you, but thanks for your post.



The problem is you work for TV Week and, by your blatant endorsement of Obama, now all your readers think TV Week is endorsing him also. I don't care who you are voting for.

In your piece above you should have asked your readers to comment to questions like, "Based on this week's reactions to the bailout, who do you think has shown true leadership?"

Or, "Do you think Obama or McCain played the correct political card?

You see, open ended without showing favoritism. Leave that to Sean Hannity.

I must leave your comment section for it is Friday night and I must support the economy single handedly by going out for dinner and drinks.

Marianne Paskowski:

I hear from a lot of people, all of the posters up here are from the TV or related businesses. The economy is their number one issue. They can't get loans, M&A has halted, you get the picture?

As the New York Times and other publications, you have to understand that I only write opinion pieces, and only that.In no way does that reflect what the management of TV Week thinks. I have no idea.This is just my little nook in their empire.

Now go out and support the economy at a bar/restaurant with a TV so that you can see the debate and get a sense of what people around you are saying.

Have a good weekend,

Chi-town Mike:

I'm still wondering if McCain is trying to make an effort to shed himself away from all the "Bush League" smoke and mirror tricks. The economy is so bad right now, that even the "terror card" trick in not working right now. Fortunately for McCain, his "Sarah Palin" magic act is at least working for a couple of reasons. For one voters keep forgetting that it's McCain that is running for president and not Sarah and Sarah does a great Tina Fey impression.

IMO there was no clear cut winner tonite. People tuned in to hear about a solid solution in fixing our economy, and neither candidate gave an answer that made me feel more comfortable afterwards. Personally I became annoyed when McCain went back to the well with Iraq by rambling on and on about the importance of our presence there, and yet he still doesn't understand why he's being linked as the next Bush.

The bottom line is that if McCain wants to play commando in Iraq, then he needs to be just as passionate and convincing about fixing our economy. Personally I would love to watch McCain take a question from Suze Orman trying to get her blessing on financing Iraq. All kidding aside... We seriously cannot go 4 more years policing Iraq, when our own backyard is seriously on fire.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Chi,
Given that the bail out package was still being hammered out at debate time, it was hard for the candidates to say much about it, although they did try.

I wasn't too impressed with either of them and I was surprised when I took the WSJ online poll afterwards that readers of that conservative newspaper overwhelmingly voted that Obama won hands down.

Thanks for your post,

Wachovia it was! Good cal, Marianne.
Peter Bright

Marianne Paskowski:


Thanks, I watch this stuff all the time. I am really alarmed at what happened today with the GOP, approximately one dozen GOP assholes who feared they wouldn't be re-elected and not pass this bailout plan.

I still can't believe that people don't know that Wall Street and Main Street are hooked at the hip bone. And apparently the GOP doesn't understand that either.

DOW down short of 800. A stupid, travesty to Americans who's savings and retirement plans are in peril.

McDonald's franchisees can't get credit from BofA. More to come, I fear.


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