Politico is reporting that Obama’s decision to move may cause the networks to roll back coverage of the conventions even further. True political junkies will remember the steady erosion of coverage over the last several decades. In the early days of television it was not unusual to get gavel-to-gavel coverage. By 2000, the networks were back to an hour a night. Then in 2004, just three nights were aired.
Are conventions little more than giant made-for-tv pep rallies for the two major party candidates? To a certain degree, yes. But perhaps because the parties have so catered to the networks, this is very little news on the actual convention floor. Any real fan of conventions will tell you the real fireworks happen at Credentials and Platform hearings. But when’s the last time you saw one of those?
Thank god for C-SPAN. They even show the Libertarian Party conventions. I have very fond memories of watching the Reform Party imploding in 2000, with the rival Hagelin faction leaving and starting their own convention. In 2004, several protesters managed to take the floor during an afternoon session of the RNC.
And this is precisely why I need a new hobby.
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