OPINION

Not-so-subtle art of television debating

It should be categorized as a separate profession, since it definitely requires certain skills which need to be honed. I am referring to the television politicians who habitually appear on various news programs and evening debates. Evidently, their political profile and experience do not suffice in creating the required impression on the viewing public. Otherwise, they would not enlist the help of various so-called experts and imagemakers to instruct them in the art of television appearances – how to carry themselves, how to dress in clothes of the right style or color, how to use their hands expressively and how to choose the right moments to show anger. Of course, there are some «old-timers» for whom this whole routine is a breeze. They know when to raise their voices so they can hijack someone else’s monologue. They have grown accustomed to talking over their interlocutor so they can look like they are not backing down while simultaneously taking the wind out of their rivals’ sails. They criticize the opinions of everyone else on the panel, with the exception of the show’s host, with whom they strive to remain on good terms. These individuals’ appearance in television debates alone is enough to spark an argument, or at least a sharp exchange or two. This is why they are regular guests – because they hold the attention of the restless viewer, at least for a while.