Boston Globe: Convention Press Coverage is HORRIBLE
Last night’s best speech may not have been HRC’s, but Brian Schweitzer’s rousing call to action over the issue of energy and the slamming of John McCain. But almost no one covered the speech except for PBS and C-SPAN. That, in a nutshell, captures the truly mind-numbing horrible-ness of the press coverage of this convention. And the Boston Globe noticed too:
THE BEST way to watch a political convention is on C-Span. That way Americans can make their own judgments unfiltered, without being told what to think by the nattering nabobs of TV commentary.
Indeed. These “nattering nabobs” only cover the speeches that they see as “marqueee” or which fit into their “narratives,” doing an enormous disservice to the American people.
Case-in-point, the mildly delivered, but substantively important speech of Iowa GOP Congressman Jim Leach:
Had the commentators not been so busy filling airspace and paid closer attention to what was happening on the podium, they might have had a different take. On Monday a speech by former Representative Jim Leach, an Iowa Republican, ably set the framework for his own party’s failings, besides delivering a bipartisan endorsement of Barack Obama. His address wasn’t electrifying TV, but it was a more articulate critique of the Republicans – and from a former loyalist, too – than many Democrats have mustered.
Substance over flash. Clearly an anathema to the news teams covering these conventions like it’s a soap opera and that the fricking future of the world doesn’t depend on it.
And then there’s that issue of the “narratives:”
The latest “narrative” making its way around the Democratic convention here is that the Obama campaign hasn’t learned the lesson of John Kerry’s 2004 convention, in which the nominee failed to directly attack President Bush. CNN commentator Soledad O’Brien even asked late Monday night whether Michelle Obama’s introductory speech shouldn’t have been tougher on the Republicans.
Of course, if the early days of the convention had presented a more negative tone, the talking heads would be complaining that the Democrats can only say what they are against, not what they are for.
Absolutely right on every level. Even last night, when the gloves did finally start to come off with some real zingers, the talking heads kept on going on about the lack of “attack” from Obama. Now, you all know I’ve more than criticized the Obama camp on this issue before, but I was feeling pretty good last night…until I listened to the pundits.
I’ll say this now:
Holy hell is the news media of this country god-smackingly, gut-wrenchingly, stomach-churningly, vomit-inducingly awful.
By shoe-horning the convention into pre-conceived narratives and focusing on the horse-race over the substance of the ACTUAL SPEECHES HAPPENING BEHIND THEM, the news media of this country has done Americans an enormous disservice.
I’m not sure if it’s ever fallen as low as it has now.