Jimmy Kimmel’s team took to the streets of Los Angeles four hours before yesterday’s debate to ask people what their impressions of it were. The responses were quite remarkable in how they could have been fitted to any news coverage taken after the debate.
This shows how we should take these person-in-the-street comments with a great deal of salt. The responses are often so generic that it could mean almost anything. The interesting thing is that when asked, people will give confident opinions of things they know nothing about rather than say they don’t know.
Of course, the producers must have encountered many people who knew that there had been no debate the previous evening and said so but they would not make the cut. This is why I could never be a comedian. I would feel obliged to say things like, “Of the 47 people we spoke to, we selected out these few because they fitted our premise”, completely destroying the joke.