Wednesday, November 09, 2016

1718 Wall to Wall Coverage

We intended to make today’s post an analysis of the election.  But the situation and its ripple effects are so complicated that analysis beyond results needs a little more time. Maybe a lot more time.

Results you can get anywhere by now.  So let’s concentrate on what my fellow media types did to make sure you were the most informed electorate in the history of bipeds.

Or maybe the most over-informed.  Or maybe the most swamped with confetti.  Or wet, cold, mind-numbing eye glazing, ear pounding, breath shortening spaghetti.

Everyone started vying for your attention early Tuesday morning… direct attention to the actual voting. Attention demands about the election have been constant from everyone forever.

But Tuesday, it was time for the main event. And that ramped up what we thought was the un-ramp-up-able.

From early morning until the first exit polls to the poll closings on the west coast, the minutia of what might happen spilled from our TV and computer screens.  Dozens of people supposedly with the inside story -- any inside story -- carefully reported speculation, either original or from reliable sources most of whom were ready at the drop of a ballot to go on camera or on the internet and do what they do best… spew sweet and sour nothings.

After awhile actual counting began.  In between all that, we saw Hillary Clinton vote in Chappaqua and Donald Trump and his lovely wife Petrushka limo-ed three blocks to their polling place. And then we saw them again in ten minutes… and twenty… and on and on.

We got the lowdown from people standing in front of maps and charts and splotches of red, blue and yellow.  We got historians.   We got former political operatives some of whom were actually “former.”

We got a lady in Utah who said “I can’t believe I voted for Hillary.”  It didn’t matter. The independent conservative won.  We got a guy who looks like BB King in North Carolina who said “I can’t believe I voted for Trump.”

In Pennsylvania which should be re-nicknamed the Voter Screwup State… reports of voting machines that registered Clinton when you pushed the Trump button.  

Don’t let that keystone fall on your head on the way out.

In New York: reports of busted voting machines.  What would an election be without busted voting machines in New York?

Enough blinding computer graphics, intoning anchors, babbling pundits, and the endless time-filling, time-wasting drivel that fell out of TV sets and iPads.

The question now is “Now what?”

And we don’t know. Because (shudder) President- Elect Trump (shudder) has been vague and varied about his “solutions” from the start.  Talk about buying a pig in a poke.

But we won’t die. At least not right away.  And both major political parties are still mid way through their obvious effort to self destruct.

But there are some points to be considered next time:

  • Take all the experts and analysts and lock them up inside anything but a TV studio.
  • Don’t assume that voters will vote for anyone or anything you consider “normal.”
  • Remember that mud washes off.
  • Skip the wall to wall coverage.

--An update on an item from Monday.  The good people at the Oakwood Avenue Presbyterian Church in NewRoses PA allowed me to vote even though I had “ABSENTEE” written on my forehead and on the registration list.  But not before I signed a solemn oath that my ballot never arrived and the precinct captain went through the entire pile of absentee ballots to make sure I wasn’t trying to put one over.

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2016

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