01/10/2008 10:01 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Hillary's Tears

I can't believe that the debate over Hillary's crying moment is so often boiling down to whether it was staged or genuine. That is so oversimplified. In this mediated age that distinction is outdated. Obviously it still applies in particular cases, but they aren't very interesting cases. This case is very interesting.

Hillary's moment was both real and performed. We aren't talking about plain old acting -- we are talking about method acting. That essentially means that you don't act like an old-fashioned stage actor, you take real emotions and live in the moment, like Marlon Brando or Robert DeNiro, and then massage real emotion into the shape you want things to take. Bill is master of the art, but Hillary is apparently learning.

No doubt people who think it has to be either staged or real have never spontaneously choked up -- and then proceeded to use teary emotion to some implicit purpose as the situation unfolds.

Yeah, right.