The Democratic National Convention coming right on the broadcast heels of the Olympics makes for some really offensive television reporting. Allow me to rant.
Today I heard someone refer (favorably) to Michelle Obama as an athlete, while talking about her preparation for her speech tonight. She is not an athlete. She is a lawyer, a mother, and a brilliant speaker. Everything is just catty-wampus with the television. There is a sportscaster-like quality to the way that the "best political teams on television" deal with something that is extremely serious: definitely not an athletic event. It seems that they, the entertaining body of "racecasters," are appealing to the sports viewers in their television audience, which is a large and ever-growing demographic.
I believe that this election is about transparency of government and making government accountable for what it does with the money that taxpayers pay to make it run. It is about making it possible for normal people to live respectable lives. It is about restoring the image of America in the eyes of people over the world, and having a society where doing the right thing is part of being a citizen. We need elected officials who do the right thing for the right reasons. This is not a game, and it is certainly not an athletic event where there are winners and losers who can brush themselves off and go on to the next event. If people don't make intelligent choices for the right reasons, we all lose, and there is no next event.
I hate it when the the network and cable television anchors (and they are anchors because they are holding fast to the bottom of the lake or the ocean, like bottom feeding fish) ask the question, "What does Barack Obama have to do" to reach this or that demographic. Everywhere that Barack Obama goes people welcome him. The zillions of people who go listen to his speeches do so because they want to hear him speak--what he says has meaning. He doesn't need to do anything except show up and do what he always does. His content varies with time, but his message is completely consistent. He is running for president because he knows that he can do what needs to be done, and he understands the "fierce urgency of now."
What does "What does Barack Obama have to do" mean anyway, except to place doubts and questions (and worries) in people's minds. The best political teams (and I'm talking about the mainstream media and the cable media--the folks that make their money from selling advertising) want to keep people watching them and watching their commercials, which seem to be more and more for health insurance, a wide range of pharmaceuticals, selling your jewelry for the gold, and ways to get out of debt.
Say, why don't the people covering the convention talk about the pieces that David Amram wrote that are going to be played in connection with this convention? Because their television audience isn't interested. I ask the question "What does David Amram have to do to get people to care about the pieces he has written?" The answer is simple. Nothing. There is nothing that he can do to get people to care about music the way they care about sports and competition. Come to think of it, the current television audience's idea of music seems to be most focused on competition, with a world divided into winners and losers, with no accounting for taste or even quality.