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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Reporting on the DNC--From In Front of my TV

by Jay Allbritton
Brilliant speech by Hillary Clinton. These fantastic speeches are really starting to pile up. Just based on the limited number of speeches I've seen so far, Michelle Obama; her brother; Ted Kennedy; Jesse Jackson, Jr.; Brian Schweitzer and Hillary Clinton all kicked ass to varying degrees. Senator Clinton, however, with this nation's lonely eyes upon her, dispelled all the doubts.

No way, No how, No McCain.

After all the vitriol and rancor that was unleashed in the long primary, I never thought I would see the day that I genuinely could be moved by this person. But here we are. I really look forward to seeing what she does without the cloud of this campaign and the expectations that come from being a Presidential contender that everyone can see coming from eight to ten years away hanging over her.

The only real disappointment so far has been the coverage. C-SPAN is the way to go, but I critique the media and I am fascinated by their foolish doings, so I watch.

If you're wondering why the floor feed seems oddly off-putting, it's because Fox News is in control of the feed. No matter what network you're looking at, other than C-SPAN, if you're seeing the floor feed, it's from Fox. How the fuck did that happen? Well, it seems like it's nothing more than luck of the draw. But since they're in control, during applause breaks they're childishly cutting away from the speaker to some disinterested person talking or sleeping or just plain stonefaced--whatever they can find that sucks some of the air out of the images. On night one, you would think that the whole convention was full of minorities with bad dental situations. Once you know Fox is in control of the feed, the narrative they're trying to subliminally juxtapose onto the coverage becomes crystal clear and it's lower than a snake's belly. The networks have to cut Fox out of the deal in the future if this is how they're going to roll (film).

MSNBC's coverage is surreal for all kinds of other reasons. This is a deeply dysfunctional family full of personalities that do not mesh. Pat Buchanan wants to lay a proverbial glove on Rachel Maddow so bad he can taste it. Keith Olbermann kneecapped Joe Scarborough accidentally when, exasperated by Joe's bullshit, Olbermann asked into an open mic, "Jesus, Joe, why don't you get a shovel?" Joe heard, and instead of ignoring it, he responded and it was pretty seriously awkward.

Chris Matthews lends his usual moonman meanderings to the affair. Tonight there must have been someone talking into his microphone telling him to wrap when he snapped, "I'll wrap in a minute!" Matthews was so thunderstruck by Hillary's speech that he just kinda trailed off as he realized that he wasn't making any sense. This type of thing from Matthews consistently throws off Olbermann, and making matters even more hysterically funny is that the set MSNBC is working from is not locked down, so any construction work going on can wipe out their coverage for thirty seconds at a time.

By the way, my girlfriend thinks that Matthews looks like Dauber from Coach.

I think she's onto something.

Well, Bill Clinton, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, John Kerry and Robert Wexler will all give speeches tomorrow, among others. Biden and Bubba should be barn burners. I'll try to get the video of Wexler's speech from YouTube because there's no effin' way that the networks will let him have any air time. Too dangerous.


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