Friday, August 24, 2012

1061 The UnConventions

1061 The UnConventions

The television networks got it right for a change.  Their coverage of the Democratic and Republican national conventions will be minimalist.  If you blink, you miss... nothing.

The conventions are bound to be dismal affairs for anyone who is not (a) a political junkie, (b) content-free show biz extravaganzas but without the leggy dancing girls, (c) rubber stamps for the candidates and above all, (d) boring and filled with lies.

When TV started covering these freak shows, it was gavel to gavel.  The main point back then was for ABC, CBS and NBC to say "Hey, look what we can do!"

Now it's time to say something else:  "Even in a time when prime time network viewing is waaaay down, we don't need you as much as you need us."

A story on this subject has been running on the internet and in the newspapers.  And one comment writer said "Bill Paley would never have permitted..." this short coverage.


Bill Paley wanted viewers, advertisers and money.  Reruns attract more of each than any convention in the last 374 years except '08, and that's just because Obama and Hillary were doing their pro-wrestling act.

My friend and colleague Brian Williams of NBC told the New York Times to increase viewer interest they might "sprinkle in some Olympic events. Floor vault is a personal favorite. Badminton, but that takes a lot of floor space."

Williams turned serious and said people are fed up with political news.  Indeed.

All three networks and Fix News will stream TV-like coverage on the internet.  And that should be enough.  More than enough.

I will miss Ann Romney's Stepford Speech on Monday night.  But I'd rather watch the Hawaii Five-O rerun more, even though I know how it turns out.

We'll miss the fake enthusiasm, the choreography more elaborate than anything Alvin Ailey or George Balanchine could have cooked up.

But at least this time, the networks won't have to post choking hazard warnings.

--The major party candidates agree on at least one general idea: we're in Afghanistan for awhile yet and we don't have a reason even though the American death toll has reached 2,000. And since we've unseated the Taliban and chased al Qaeda into our other great ally, Pakistan the job of killing US soldiers has fallen to a new terrorist organization.  The regular army of Afghanistan, trained, armed and financed by... us. 

--It's always nice to hear from friends on Facebook.  So thanks to Robert B. Parker.  Didn't have time to answer fan mail while you were alive but now that you're dead, you have more time because you don't need to eat or sleep?

--Things are getting busy at the WestraDamus secret mountain laboratory.  We are putting the finishing touches on "Sandusky, The Board Game."  We're hoping to have it on store shelves before the holiday gift-buying season.

I'm Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them. (R)
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(C) WJR 2012

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