Rosen’s Simple Fix for Sunday TV

Jay Rosen thinks the Sunday politics shows on TV could be improved: My Simple Fix for the Messed Up Sunday Shows:

The beauty of this idea is that it turns the biggest weakness of political television–the fact that time is expensive, and so complicated distortions, or simple distortions about complicated matters, are rational tactics for advantage-seeking pols–into a kind of strength.  The format beckons them to evade, deny, elide, demagogue and confuse…. but then they pay for it later if they give into temptation and make that choice.  So imagine the midweek fact check from last week as a short segment wrapping up the show the following week. Now you have an incentive system that’s at least pointed in the right direction.

This assumes, of course, that the Sunday chat shows are interested in fostering truth for its own sake. I get the feeling that news divisions at the networks have been moving in a different direction for a while now. But maybe calling people on their B.S. would be good for some ratings?

I actually don’t think more than a handful of people actually watch those shows. But since that handful includes lots of bloggers and politicians, maybe putting Rosen’s truth incentive in place would still have some sort of impact, at least among bloggers and/or politicians?

68 Responses to “Rosen’s Simple Fix for Sunday TV”

  1. shcb Says:

    This is what talk radio already does.

  2. Smith Says:

    I assume you are talking about the “complicated distortions, or simple distortions about complicated matters” and not the “midweek fact check”.

  3. shcb Says:

    That’s exactly what I’m talking about, both, who is going to be on this magical panel? Randi Rhodes or Rush Limbaugh, if the networks get to fact check their guests will Fox’s critique not count but NBC’s will? Who will fact check the hosts if the networks fact check the guests, who decides if the questions were leading, or if the guest disagrees with a “fact” as presented by the host who will determine who is right and who is wrong, Media Research Group or Media Matters. Will we form a peer review process as unbiased as that of the Global Warming scandal.

    Very few of the issues discussed on these shows are black and white, someone saying there were 129 deaths in a given war zone last month when the number was actually 179 is fact checkable but what if the guest says the number was almost 200, or not even 200. It is a judgment call as to whether 200 is close enough, and that judgment will be biased. Then we have issues that can’t be justified, the guest says this policy or that will add x amount to the deficit over the next so many years, he can’t know that, the deficit will be affected by future events that this congressman can’t control. Did he mention that his figures came from the CBO? Does it matter? Who decides? What criteria did congress give the CBO to make its determination, was that the correct information or was something else more appropriate, who decides?

    This is just another answer looking for a question. Let the man speak if we can say if he was right or not, just one more way to control the unwashed masses.

  4. Smith Says:

    Damn facts, always trying to control us. Why can’t facts just leave us alone and let us all live peacefully in talk radio fantasy land?

  5. shcb Says:

    So they are going to skip conference committee discussions on healthcare legislation, so much for bipartisanship and pop! goes another campaign promise or two. Democrats are unilaterally taking over one seventh of our economy. How would the Sunday morning fact checkers at NBC and Fox spin this one?

  6. Smith Says:

    I thought conservatives loved unilateral action. Oh yeah, the last eight years never happened. I keep forgetting that.

    It’s not like the Repubs have made any effort at accepting any compromises anyway. So, to hell with them. If the voters cared what the Rs wanted, we’d have a very different governmental composition. Here’s a fact for you: Republicans lost the 2008 election.

  7. jbc Says:

    Well, this was a campaign promise that was unilaterally broken by the Republican strategy of not cooperating with healthcare reform under any circumstances. That you view it as Obama’s failure to deliver on his promises is more an indication of your own perceptual framework than of anything lacking in Obama’s efforts toward bipartisanship.

    More detail about the death of conference committees is in this item by Jeff Davis. Again, I have a hard time blaming Democrats for this one. If Republicans had not adopted a strategy of filibustering literally everything the Democrats in the Senate try to pass, I doubt it would have come to this. As it is, it is the 40 Republican senators, not the 60 (in caucusing terms, at least) Democrats, who are trying to exercise more than their electorally sanctioned share of power. That you view this as a unilateral Democratic power grab is more an indication of your… oh, wait. I already said that. See above.

  8. shcb Says:

    you really haven’t been paying attention have you?

  9. enkidu Says:

    So… lessee… according to great sage wwnj
    math is ‘liberal’
    science is ‘liberal’
    and now facts is liberal too?

    Can someone please use Al Gore’s Incontrovertible Invention to ask goog how many times the Rs used this exact same procedure during the shrubco regime?

  10. enkidu Says:

    great hand waving response wwnj!
    (I bet he is still using Al’s Amazing Aetheric All-inclusive-network to search out the oodles of peer reviewed antiCC papers… and thus far too busy to prepare a coherent response beyond this pithy poltroonery)

  11. shcb Says:

    Well Enky anyone that actually pays attention to the process knows there was never any intention to listen to the loyal opposition in the healthcare debate, none of the Republican proposals made it out of committee. That is the prerogative of the Democrats but to now blame partisanship on Republicans is laughable and/or ignorant of the situation. So hell, why make a charade out of it, just block the Republicans totally, this is actually a good move by Democrats, Republicans were going to use every procedural trick to drag this out to as close to November as possible knowing how much public opposition there is to this government takeover. This is a totally defensive move, Democrats have their backs to the wall.

  12. enkidu Says:

    Perhaps you haven’t noticed this fact over in the Wingnutoverse, but single payer healthcare was never on the table. Oh sure Sen Sanders and a couple others tried to at least start there and bargain downward, but to describe the current bills as a government takeover of healthcare is ludicrous (as usual).

    The fact is that the public wants a public option (imho just open up Medicare to everyone who wants to buy in – simple!) by a clear majority.
    But hey since you brought up healthcare perhaps you could explain how we pay nearly 3X more than the other 1st world countries and nearly 10X 2nd/3rd world countries like Mexico. I think the really interesting line is Japan: they visit their doctor nearly 10X more than we do, but pay about a third as much (and cover everyone btw). Not to mention the higher life expectancy…

    Them facts is jes so ding liberal!

  13. NorthernLite Says:

    But enk, didn’t you hear Rush Limpdick say that the system works perfectly.*

    *If you make 33 million dollars a year and happen to fall ill in the most progressive state (healthcare wise) in America.

    shcb, you guys are getting exactly what you asked for. The Dems are finally growing a pair. You can only bend over backwards so many times before you say “fuck it”.

  14. shcb Says:

    then why are they defecting or not running for re-election in the numbers they are?

  15. shcb Says:

    If so many people want this takeover of health care why not debate it in the open?

  16. Smith Says:

    Let’s see, there are five Dems retiring from the Senate, two of whom are appointees. On the other hand, there are SIX Repubs who are also retiring from the Senate. Don’t forget that Specter jumped ship, too. Considering the numbers, the question should be, “why are Republicans defecting or not running for re-election in the numbers they are?”

  17. enkidu Says:

    “this takeover of healthcare”
    it doesn’t get any more wwnj than this…

    The government has a legitimate role to play in modern life. If you don’t like it, please move to a country without a government like Somalia.

  18. shcb Says:

    so the question then is, would the Sunday truth detectors note you only mentioned the Senate?

  19. Smith Says:

    Enky reminded me of this:

  20. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb, remind me please of which elections are germane, i.e. upcoming next; Congressional or Senate?

  21. Smith Says:

    Oh, I think its funny that not long ago shcb was raving about how “fact checking” is an important part of the media’s role. Now he has decided that “fact checking” is designed to “control the unwashed masses”. Make up your damn mind.

  22. Smith Says:

    Both House and Senate seats are up in 2010.

    Individual Senate seats are worth far more than House seats, though. The Dems also have a pretty wide margin in the House 256 D to 178 R. In terms of power shifts, the Senate is more germane.

  23. enkidu Says:

    heh – gotta love that mud hut country humor!

    The War on Stupidity continues…

  24. NorthernLite Says:

    Didn’t you guys just debate this for a year? Are you just mad because they found away to get around your childish stalling tactics?

    Look, it was obvious right from the get-go that most R’s had no interest in helping make your system more accessible and less expensive. Many leaders stated publicly that they thought they could “break Obama if they stopped healthcare reform”. By the way, reforming healthcare was a major plank in BOTH parties’ platforms last year. For these folks it wasn’t about looking after the best interest of the country, it was about destroying a President, House and Senate that are all controlled by Democrats.

    I’ll give you this though, your party is very good at using their minority status to block progress. They use fear very well, much like the leaders of N. Korea and China do.

    To be honest, what I’ve seen from the GOP lately is a very dangerous party not all that much different from radical groups they claim to hate: Religious intolerance (telling people to convert from Buddhism to Christianity so they can be saved?), brining guns to political rallies, strange prayer meetings with politicians, Glen Beck talking trash about a river in India that people go to spread the ashes of their loved ones because it has funny name. This shit goes on and on and on.

    Seriously, these people are really starting to scare me.

  25. enkidu Says:

    In the House, 14 GOP incumbents have decided not to seek re-election, while 10 Democratic incumbents have made the same announcement.

    In the Senate, six Republican incumbents have decided not to seek re-election, while two Democratic incumbents have made the same announcement.

    Sorry to make ‘liberal’ use of things like ‘math’, but 14>10 and 6>2.

    Hey what ever happened to that race in upstate New York? The district that Rs have held since the Civil War? The one where the teabaggers shoved their carpetbagger candidate into the race? The one where Super Sarah anointed her pick for biggest wingnut? How did that work out for you wwnjs?

    Let me spell it out: you wwnjs lost.

  26. Smith Says:

    Is that a fact?

  27. enkidu Says:

    Well Smith, since you asked, I am assuming that the link provides you with a way to go and read the source material, read their sources, weigh the evidence and decide for yourself. I used a blockquote to indicate that I was reusing someone else’s words. Perhaps it would have been better if I took an hour or two, researched each member of the House and Senate, made a list of incumbents not seeking reelection and crossreferenced that with non-partisan news sources like the BBC and the Congressional record.

    I would then… uh…

    ahhhh f!ck it!

    I am sure you are referring to the upstate NY race! yeah we won baby! First time since the Civil War! wooo! major major upset wooo!

    What? you never hear that in the big bad mainstream media? the ‘librl’ media? huh

  28. Smith Says:

    Is your reply sarcastic, or did you not realize I was making a joke?

  29. enkidu Says:

    I forgot the smiley face ;)

  30. Smith Says:

    Subtleties are often lost in text.

  31. enkidu Says:

    Is that a fact?

  32. Smith Says:

    Perhaps we should wait for the talk radio shows to weigh in.

  33. shcb Says:

    I’m just ignoring the nonsense here ‘cause I have things to do tonight.

    Which is germane, Senate or House, when you are completely out of power, either. You need to hold one branch so you can have some bargaining power, when you are out of power all you can do is slow the process down until you are back in power again. The American system is like a big ship, it is designed to move slowly so it doesn’t get caught up in fads, with the exception of war and treaties. The Founders meant it to be that way. Back to your question, the Senate is more important if Supreme Court judges are in play and the House is important if budget issues are important. Lastly, Senate races are state wide races, House races tend to be more local. On occasion the parties have made these midterms national, but for the most part they end up being determined by state or local issues. The national aspect for the most part tends to be reduced to a head count. It’s not pretty but that is the long and short of it.

    Fact checking; an important part of the media is indeed fact checking, the concept in this article isn’t fact checking, it is just one more layer of bullshit. This is the danger of just commenting on a few buzzwords instead of actually reading and understanding what your opponent has said.

    Most R’s indeed have no interest in this bill, we know it will be intrusive and expensive, it isn’t in our philosophy, sorry. It was on both parties plank, but not in this form.

    Head counts, you have to look deeper than head counts. Governor Ritter announced today that he will not seek the head executive position of the State of Colorado. There was no need for him to do that, there hasn’t been an incumbent governor lose in 50 years, Ritter is a good guy, he’s done a good job, no scandals, he’s a good guy. I don’t like his politics but he’s a good guy. The problem is there are three good prospects for Democratic candidates and one really good Republican candidate. Ritter was number four on the list of Democrats not because of anything he has done but because he is the incumbent and the Democrat leadership realizes that is a liability in the next election so Ritter is taking one for the team. It’s just politics.

  34. shcb Says:

    I forgot the New York race, but it is too complicated to you guys. It isn’t complicated just too involved for you.

  35. Smith Says:

    If you ever said anything worthwhile, I’d be more inclined to actually read it.

    NY isn’t complicated. The GOP is destroying itself from the inside. Years of courting theocratic extremists and racists is finally biting the Repubs in the ass.

  36. enkidu Says:

    nope, no racists in the teabagger movement!
    extra point for the misspelling

    fat, stupid, racist and rethuglican is no way to go through life, but ymmv

  37. knarlyknight Says:

    no cheesy commens about fact checkers from me, just this:

    Interesting bit on Yemen, maybe the past 8 years never did happen…

  38. Smith Says:

    Ah, if we are posting corny videos, then I will add this:

    I think it is intended to promote the 9/11 Truth Movement, but the concept is so goofy it almost seems like a parody. I guess it could be self-deprecating viral “marketing”. That seems to be the most likely case, especially since I am now posting it on this website.

  39. shcb Says:


    In the NY case the Republicans did destroy themselves from the inside but it wasn’t because of anything to the extreme right, the fact is all the players were as far to the left as you can get and still be called a Republican, it was just stupid politics, people being greedy. That is where the media and especially the media you guys listen to got it wrong.

  40. Smith Says:

    Palin is “as far to the left as you can get and still be called a Republican”? lol

  41. shcb Says:


  42. NorthernLite Says:

    Yeah Palin, she was a major “player” in that race, which worked out well (for sane, middle of the road folks anyways).

  43. shcb Says:

    Palin? boy you guys are stretching there.

  44. NorthernLite Says:

    What?! It was all the rave when Palin decided to endorse that tea bagger instead of the Republican. I know you’re getting up there but it wasn’t THAT long ago…

    By the way, isn’t Dodd’s retirement actually good news for the Dems? I’m pretty sure he was going to lose that seat and now they’ll probably hang onto it because I think the new guy running is very well liked by the voters there.

  45. Smith Says:

    Denial is not a river in Egypt. You’re not really pretending that Palin didn’t insert herself into that race, are you?

    You seem to be really hung up on the old narrative that the GOP is the party of unity. The narrative that claims the Dems are always infighting, but the GOP is a unity front that gets things done. I think we are seeing the end of that era (or should I say “error”). You guys have been building up the theocrats for years now with false promises of a Christian Taliban. Those extremists, who Palin claims are real Americans, have been blindly investing in the GOP for years, operating under the illusion that the Repubs will eventually undermine the Constitution and restrict the freedoms of those who do not kowtow to their beliefs. Of course, the party leaders never intended to fulfill any of their promises. As long as they have not accomplished what they claim to have set out to do, the party members can keep blaming Dems and waving carrots to the fanatics. Now these reactionaries are expecting the party to pay dividends, and the fractures are starting to show.

  46. Smith Says:

    Do you think my last post accurately captured the style of shcb’s usual rants about the Dems and their fascistic/socialistic ambitions?

  47. enkidu Says:

    NL true and true

    Super Sarah endorsed a carpet bagger teabagger who had no clue as to the issues in the district – but was a hard right tiger petter – who lost a district that had been R since the Civil War. God I hope she runs in 2012. Word salad for everyone! If she (heaven forfend) actually wins, will she quit half way thru her term to focus on her real talent: incoherent facebook postings?

    Dodd retiring is actually a good thing for the CT Dem seat: the AG is going to run and is already got a double digit lead on the R and teabagger names. I only hope Dodd helps push thru some real banking reform before he is no longer the chair: the new chair is a bank toadie…

    the fact is all the players were as far to the left as you can get and still be called a Republican”
    is that a fact?

  48. enkidu Says:

    Smith – getting there, but you failed to call anyone a Socialist (or Fascist, Nazi or Commie). Additionally you didn’t whine about the ‘tone’ of the ‘debate’ while calling others who don’t share your extremist viewpoints assholes, fuckers or similar. A veiled racist comment or three would have helped as well.

    Needs more Palin-style word salad.

    Don’t forget to throw in a avuncular anecdote that ‘proves’ your point.

  49. Smith Says:

    I substituted “Theocrat”, “Taliban”, etc. for “Socialist”. I had to make it right-wing friendly.

  50. shcb Says:

    I don’t know where your getting that idea Smith, I don’t think I have ever made any comments that the republican party is the party of unity, I hope I didn’t anyway, I’m a little more realistic than that. Go read Pajamas, they don’t want to oust Michael Steele, they want to draw and quarter him, I kind of like the guy and his message, we’re going through this same change the Democrats went through, we lost and lost big so everyone has a theory on how to fix things, should we be liberal lite or fire breathing right. Steele seems pretty reasonable in his assessments and the right hates that, he doesn’t think we have much of a chance to get back either house in the ’10 elections, but we should make some big gains, sounds reasonable to me. The medium far right hates that kind of talk.

    As far as this NY thing goes, I’m looking at the candidates and races themselves and the backroom deals. I’m basing my assessment on the voting records of the candidates, their positions on issues and former employment. Also the history of that district and the state as a whole, not who campaigned for one of them or the other. If Ted Kennedy had campaigned for Joe Lieberman back in his heyday would that have made Joe a bleeding heart liberal? Of course not, there would have been a lot more history and more involved dynamics to the race than that. But you guys tend to boil these complex issues down to one or two buzzwords and run with it from there so this isn’t much of a surprise.

  51. Smith Says:

    “But you guys tend to boil these complex issues down to one or two buzzwords and run with it from there so this isn’t much of a surprise.”

    I hope you are including yourself in that assessment. Keep spinning, shcb. The facts don’t support you, but since when has that mattered?

  52. NorthernLite Says:

    Buzzwords like “socialist”, “communism”, “facism”.

  53. enkidu Says:

    wwnj – don’t you mean the voting record (singular) of the candidate? (again, singular) Only Dede Scozzafava held office prior to Bill Owens winning a seat that hasn’t been represented by a D since the mid-19th century. Fact.

    I guess Dede didn’t please the wwnj extremists.

    I love the wiki entry on Doug Hoffman (to wit)

    “Tea party conservatives see the GOP loss as a victory for conservativism over mere political party loyalty.”

    Got that? Losing a seat the Rs have held since the Civil War is ‘a victory for conservatism’. This just in: up is down, black is white and water is no longer wet. Have a nice day!

  54. shcb Says:

    I disagree with these tea party conservatives on this issue, party trumps person, they wanted someone more conservative and were willing to lose the seat if they couldn’t get that, well they got their wish and now there is D where there used to be an R. Very self defeating. This happens with single issue voters that don’t understand politics, oh well.

  55. Smith Says:

    You are blaming this on “single-issue voters” while simultaneously asserting that her record, taken as a whole, is that of a leftist. So, is she only liberal on a single issue or does she have an overwhelmingly leftist record as you claimed previously? You are desperately trying to deny that the party is splitting on broadly ideological grounds, but I get the feeling you cannot even convince yourself of this “fact”.

    “party trumps person”
    Wait, who is the fascist here?

  56. shcb Says:

    What are you talking about? Why do you insist on twisting things around trying to catch me in an I gotcha? The voters I am talking about are the people that will cut their noses off to spite their faces.

    You are blaming this on “single-issue voters” while simultaneously asserting that her record, taken as a whole, is that of a leftist. So, is she only liberal on a single issue or does she have an overwhelmingly leftist record as you claimed previously?

    She is slightly left of center on a whole and ideological voters who tend to be single issue voters wanted someone farther to the right, too far for that district, so they split the vote even though she dropped out and the Republicans lost. I’m not saying anything more than that, I’m not that complicated.

    Did you read my post above about Steele? Of course we are split, both parties are split, there are always competing factions. The party isn’t falling apart any more than the Democrats, or any less. The party in power always looks like it is more unified because they are winning, that is natural. The party out of power always has competing groups that all think they have the answer to getting back in power, they don’t like each other but they dislike the other party more.

    What does party trumps person have to do with fascism? It is just the practicality of two party system.

  57. Smith Says:

    “What does party trumps person have to do with fascism?”

    You really don’t understand fascism at all, do you?

    “ideological voters who tend to be single issue voters”

    Palin and the other reactionaries raised far more than one issue when they were bitching about Scozzafava. Are you sure this issue isn’t too complicated for you? If you spin this any faster, I think we can use you to power the grid.

  58. shcb Says:

    We just aren’t communicating here, these ideological voters tend to be single issue voters. Anti abortion people have other issues of course but the abortion issue is the trump card, same with gun nuts, immigration folks, pro or con etc. Someone like Palin becomes a broker for all these groups, so she may spout off a list of woes but the people supporting her individually are single issue. I understand fascism, you just don’t understand party trumps person. In our system you vote person in the primaries and party in the election. A candidate of a party comes with a coalition, the party in power controls committees, rules, and chairmanships you have to decide which of the two parties matches your priorities and values on balance. It has nothing to do with fascism or any other ism it is just a matter of practicality.

  59. Smith Says:

    Yes, you are legally barred from voting for anyone other than members of the Party. Clearly, that is how are system works. You have no choice.

    If you don’t see how your Party First attitude relates to fascism, then I can’t help you. I guess I should have known you didn’t know what you were talking about when you insisted that fascism is entirely defined by an economic system.

    “these ideological voters tend to be single issue voters.”
    Let’s go back a few posts:
    “This happens with single issue voters that don’t understand politics, oh well.”
    Hmmm….Don’t see “tend” there. You are trying to directly blame this one single issue voters because you don’t want to face the fact that the party is fracturing and losing ground with moderates due to an attempted take over by the theocratic monsters the party created. Backpedaling doesn’t work when there is a written record of your words.

  60. shcb Says:

    I don’t see where I used the phrase legally bound or anything like it. I don’t want to make anyone vote for anyone they don’t want to and I have said nothing of the sort unless it is after you twist my words. Written records and all. I don’t care who anyone votes for, I hope all Democrats split their votes among a whole bunch of third party candidates or a Republican now and then, the more the better.

  61. NorthernLite Says:

    I see way more vote splitting occuring on the R side, and a push to purge moderates from the party.

  62. shcb Says:

    People on my side are saying the same thing about the D’s. It’s kind of hard to quantify and it is probably just wishful thinking on both sides.

  63. enkidu Says:

    If “party over person” (and its corollary ‘party over country’) isn’t fascist, I don’t know what is. Perhaps wwnj could avail himself of Al’s Amazing Intertubes to search out the definition of fascism. Note: conservapedia is not as accurate as the crazy guy on the 47 crosstown.

    from the US military dictionary at
    n. 1. an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization.
    2. (in general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.

    lots of links here:

    Really wwnj? People on the far right are talking about a left wing splinter group that is more popular than the D party at the moment? This splinter group brings guns to rallies? Organizes huge million + (snicker *60,000nutjobs* snicker) rallies in DC? Runs candidates anointed by the rebel leader who lose in districts the Ds have held since the civil war?

    For the life of me I have no idea what that vociferous left-wing nutjob movement would be called. On the right you have Republicans and teabaggers and fundies (lets not forget the extreme wwnjs) tearing your much vaunted ‘unity’ to shreds, while to the left of you are the vast majority of normal people. Moderates, Independents, Liberals, Progressives, Sane People etc.

  64. NorthernLite Says:

    Is there a party that’s further to the left of the Dems running candidates against them? Furiously attacking them for not being “liberal enough?”

    There is up here and it’s why we now have a right-wing (in our terms) Prime Minister even though his party only received 37% of the vote. Our vote on the left is being split between centre-left and a really-leftist party.

    Take up from me (and knarly) shcb, it’s better to have a wide umbrella party than to have a really narrow one that pushes people out just because they may differ on one or two items.

  65. NorthernLite Says:

    I could never belong to a party the flat out lies anyways:

    “We had no domestic attacks under Bush; we’ve had one under Obama,” Rudy Giuliani.

    “We did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush’s term,” Dana Perino.

    We inherited a recession from President Clinton and we inherited the most tragic attack on our own soil in our nation’s history.” Mary Matalin.

    Either they think their supporters really are complete idiots or they have a complete disregard for the truth.

    Tell me, why in the world would you support a party that does this?

  66. enkidu Says:

    skip to 3:10 or so if you can’t stand listening to the rest of this drivel

    and Stephanopolis says nothing
    oh yeah, the media is ding ‘librl’

    Rudy 9iu11iani – unchallenged liar

  67. Smith Says:

    “Is there a party that’s further to the left of the Dems running candidates against them?”

    The Green Party makes presidential bids, but it rarely gets any meaning percent of the vote. I think its best year was 2000, when Nader received 2.74%. The US doesn’t really have a left-wing, at least in terms of national elections.

  68. enkidu Says:

    this guy needs more airtime

    the Rs have gone from bad, to worse, to insane
    next stop: irrelevant

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