Monday, August 25, 2008

Liveblogging the Democratic Convention: Limited Stamina Meets Unending Coverage

So I'm probably going to lose interest in doing this after about 25 minutes, but a few thoughts on MSNBC's coverage of the convention (along with a Mickey Kaus-style internal editor):

7:13 - Good gravy, the on-air awkwardness between Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews is just so hilarious. Chris is really focusing on the PUMA protestors and the Obama-is-a-Muslim lies, which seem to really bother him. Keith just looks pissed that he has to be sitting next to this yahoo (Does a Cornell guy really have the elitist chops to look that miffed at having to deal with Matthews? - ed).

7:15 (commercial) - Oh no! Matt Damon is possessed by a remarkably diverse group of civic-minded Americans!

7:21 - Norah O'Donnell is a Hoya!

7:23 - Mike Barnicle thinks people don't like Michelle Obama because of affirmative action resentment. Basically, he's suggesting that people who are struggling to get their kids into college are not OK with a woman whose race might have given her an advantage in getting into Princeton/Harvard Law. I'm not so sure. It seems to me that dislike/resentment of candidates' wives tends to be an a priori animosity toward the other party rather than a sentiment based on anything remotely related to an individual person. The "case" against Michelle Obama is awfully weak, and it's not as if any unexpected voices are singing in the anti-Michelle chorus. Or did someone out there expect Sean Hannity to really give Mrs. Obama fair consideration before he began the almost-daily personal attacks against her?

7:25 - Oh! Keith wants to fight Joe Scarborough! They should duke it out on the convention floor - I think Joe has the physical advantage, but Keith would have plenty of allies in this crowd.

7:37 - Chuck Todd's tie is pretty ugly. Also: earlier this week, someone on MSNBC (I forget who) was calling him "Chucky T." I, for one, hope this nickname sticks.

7:41 - Chuck Todd: "Senator Clinton needs to prove that she believes that Senator Obama is the captain who should be at the wheel of this ship called America" (not exact quote). We now have a nominee for Dumbest Metaphor Of The Night.

7:46 - Keith basically just told Chris Matthews to shut up, except with his fingers. The "Shut-Up Hand Sign" is what I think I'll call it. More important, though: Luke Russert is reporting from the floor for MSNBC, and Keith says it's a "honor" to hear from him (but then, Keith has always had a flair for the melodramatic). And what do you know - Luke's pretty good in front of the camera!

7:52 - There's been a lot of talk about the difficulties facing Michelle Obama tonight. MSM CW (acronyms galore!) posits that she has to be warm and fuzzy for "mainstream America." To some degree, this is coded language for saying, "She needs to be careful and avoid scaring old racists!"

7:59 - Oh, great, Bill Maher is on. Nothing like his special blend of superficial (even for cable TV!) and remarkably unfunny commentary.

8:01 - Keith Olbermann is talking about Spiro Agnew, and he's neglecting Dave Barry's important contribution to political science, which was the observation that "Spiro Agnew" is an anagram for "grow a penis." Also, things between Keith and Chris haven't cooled down. Chris was trying to make a point about Americans' apparent preference for WASP-sounding names, and he essentially told Olbermann, "You sound too ethnic to be elected to anything important!" Keith just had that same pissed look on his face that he was wearing at the beginning of this broadcast. Speaking of which, when is this coverage going to end?

8:05 - Wow. The convention schedule says Michelle Obama's speech doesn't start until 10:35! There is no way I'm going to sit around and watch this for another two and a half hours - especially when "Notorious" is playing on TCM.

Well, I lasted nearly an hour! On the other hand, I didn't cover any of the actual convention, just MSNBC's ham-fisted coverage of it. I thought about CNN and FOX News, but quick visits to those stations revealed nothing but CNN's obsession with high-tech maps and Shepard Smith (who has definitely been tanning too much) talking about Harry Truman. I didn't stay tuned long enough to find out why.

Well, that's it for now. Enjoy the convention!

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