News Cycle

A look at the news, politics and journalism in today’s 24-hour media.

What Exactly Are You Watching?

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Whose watching the Democratic Convention in Denver? About 22 million of you in 17 million households, according to Nielsen.

But are you really watching the convention, or your favorite pundit? Whether it ‘s Keith Olbermann trying to talk through the whistles of a locomotive, or an hour of Bill O’Reilly in the upper deck, most of the convention has come an gone without a clear picture of what’s going on.

Sure, we all saw the big stars. Michelle Obama had wall-to-wall coverage, and so did Hillary Clinton’s much-anticipated and well-delivered speech last night. But the real workings of the convention, such as the development of a party platform, has gone unnoticed by all the major media. If you want the meat of a convention, turn over to C-SPAN.

AP had this to say today:

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was addressing the convention Monday, drawing a contrast between Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly was in a booth far above the delegates interviewing a pollster. O’Reilly waved in the direction of Pelosi on stage with a dismissive hand.

“Now we have Nancy Pelosi bloviating, and I say that in an affectionate way, behind us,” O’Reilly said. “It doesn’t seem like the crowd is on the edge of their seats.”

Katie Couric and Jeff Greenfield were talking on CBS when Craig Robinson was onstage talking about his sister, Michelle Obama. During a Jimmy Carter tribute, Fox aired clips of demonstrators outside the convention hall. Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill got little airtime.

“How can you cover a convention when you’re talking while the main speakers are speaking?” asked PBS anchor Jim Lehrer, whose network lingered more on the speakers.

I’m sure things will be different tomorrow night as Barack Obama takes center stage at Invesco Field at Mile High. We’ll see all of that. But wouldn’t you just love the drama of a good old-fashioned floor fight followed by a tight roll call? Maybe a reporter being arrested on the convention floor? Ah, the good old days, when democracy would play out right before our eyes.

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Written by newscycle

August 27, 2008 at 6:26 pm

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