Recall When Convention Coverage From TV Networks Was Objective?
I recall how excited I was in the summer of 1976 for the political conventions to get underway. I was coming into my own with an interest in politics, and with wall-to-wall coverage on the networks with the likes of Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley, and Bob Schieffer there was no end to the excitement and real-time civics lesson to he had. Recall when Teddy White would lend his expertise on NBC? Who could not say they walked away from the coverage as a more informed person? And had fun in the process?
That summer I can still hear Mom telling others that the conventions kept me ‘occupied” which seemed a nicer way of saying it kept me quiet.
This morning I woke to the news that MSNBC has announced their hosts–not anchors–for the convention coverage are Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews . Many might think I would be pleased given my deep respect for Maddow, and my admittedly bro-romance with the sharp mind and institutional memory of Matthews.
To be honest, however, I am not pleased.
I have no more interest in the Democratic leaning MSNBC, than I do in the right-wing controlled FAUX News.
I would like to have a real old-fashioned Cronkite or Brinkley type of anchor who is mired in the political drama, provides analysis, but keeps their personal politics out of the mix.
I know that type of thinking was more in vogue when The Bob Newhart Show was on the air, then this era when a show is only worth watching if you can vote someone off the island.
The nation will come closet to the old-fashioned feel of convention coverage on CNN.
CNN will offer viewers nonstop, unbiased programming across on-air and digital platforms at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions…
On each convention day, lead political anchor Wolf Blitzer will anchor “The Situation Room” from the convention floor beginning at 4 p.m. … At 7p.m., CNN will begin prime time coverage from locations inside the convention hall.
The real dramas of political conventions took place years before I was born, and for the excitement of those cycles I head to a good book. Now there are great speeches and computerized graphics, instant polling and war rooms from the opposition with instant messaging.
I am hoping that Blitzer will transport me back to my teenage years and make the convention coverage sizzle. Maybe somewhere a modern-day Teddy White can be found….