Lead On

One of the first, among the many skills a trial attorney must learn after the law, is how to ask a question, to frame a question, to be more accurate, to lead a witness, to give a desired answer. Any viewer of court room drama has more than once heard a judge verbally chastise a lawyer’s questing as leading a witness. Those within earshot of this cross examination can be both influenced by the question and the answer, so, the judge may again step in, cautioning them to disregard both the question and the answer. Which leads me to wonder as to why MSNBC’s program, Revolution, an exclusive interview with Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, was conducted in earshot of a live audience. As I watched, I felt as a viewer, I was being led by both the laughter and the applause of the audience and not by any opinion expressed. We have seen this contrivance on television comedy shows deploying a laugh track, designed to influence the viewing audience to laugh at a given point in the show. It can most expertly be seen by this American President at his every rally, as one would hope for his views on many issues, to be properly dispensed before the American people, at a prescheduled televised official news conference, and not before a cheering crowd of what appears to be supporters, leaving other citizens at home watching, scratching their heads, unable to separate policy from merely campaign entertainment.

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