Critics have claimed that Larry King asks "soft" questions in comparison to other interviewers, which allows him to reach guests who would be averse to interviewing on "tough" talk shows. His reputation for asking easy, open-ended questions has made him attractive to important figures who want to state their position while avoiding being challenged on contentious topics. When interviewed on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, King said that the secret to a good interview is to get the guest to talk about him- or herself, and to put oneself in the background pool.A 1996 interview in the Washington Post had King note that he sometimes slips hard questions in between softballs. King prefers one-sentence questions. In the Post interview, King also proclaimed that he prepares as little as possible for each program, does not read the books of the authors he interviews, and admitted that the show was not journalism but "infotainment." He said that he tries to project an image of earnestness and sincerity in each interview, and the format of the show (King in suspenders instead of suit and tie, sitting directly next to the guest) reinforces that.In response to "'softball' questions" accusations, King says, "I've never understood that. All I've tried to do is ask the best questions I could think of, listen to the answers, and then follow up. I've never not followed up. I don't attack anybody — that's not my style — but I follow up. I've asked people who say this, 'What's a softball question?' They'll say, 'You say to some movie star, what's your next project?' To me, that's not a softball. To me, that's interesting — what are you doing next?'-Wikipedia, "Larry King Live"
It just makes sense.
The former CNN giant will guide next Tuesday's debate in Chicago, which will be broadcast on the Internet. The candidates taking part are the Libertarian Party's Gary Johnson, the Green Party's Jill Stein, the Constitution Party's Virgil Goode and the Justice Party's Rocky Anderson.
Johnson's Libertarians are on 48 state ballots, screwed out of Michigan because of the "sore loser" law (Johnson ran for the Republican nomination before switching, remember?), and denied Oklahoma because the state didn't let Johnson keep the vacant Americans Elect ballot line. Stein's Greens are on 37 ballots, including most of the swing states, but not including New Hampshire. That's key, because it makes the GOP-friendly Johnson the only local spoiler. And Goode remains just popular enough in south-central Virginia to queer things for Republicans.Here, normally, I'd place some punditry about Rocky Anderson, but I honestly think that the average person who accidentally clicks on this blog while looking for "Dear Prudence" has more electoral oomph than he does.