Media Meanderings

I was fortunate enough to have flipped onto NBC just at the moment when Tom Brokaw got the word that the network was calling Ohio for Bush. His face absolutely fell before he said, “This race is all but over.” It was almost as good as Katie Couric’s stunned reaction when Florida was called for Bush four years ago.

By midnight, Bob Shaeffer on CBS was pouting like a petulant kid being kept after school. Dan Rather looked enbalmed. By far the worst coverage of any broadcast network (ABC was a close second here).

The Fox News panel was interesting some of the time, but most of the night they were just casting around for some way to fill empty space with no real news. The slow returns and reluctance to call states early really took a lot of air out of that broadcast. I personally enjoyed having Michael Barone as an all-knowing sage for every county in the nation, but I bet non-political junkies’ eyes were glazing every time he came on-screen. Susan Estrich (got botox, Suze?) was a complete waste of airtime; if I wanted to hear Kerry campaign spin, I’d have been watching CNN.

Oh, CNN, outside of Jeff Greenfield, was ridiculous. Larry King? Why?

MSNBC was one long Chris Matthews whine about Democrats not being able to win in the South, and what the hell was Ron Reagan doing on there? This guy does dog show commentary, for God’s sake. Speaking of which, he went into a petulant rant around 1 AM about the electoral divide being between “people who believe in religion and people who believe in science.”

Hey, Ron, I’m an aerospace engineer, and I didn’t vote for your guy, either. Tell you what: you don’t lecture me about science, and I won’t lecture you about ballet. Deal?

Finally, waiting for returns to roll across the bottom of the screen was… so… annoying, but my internet connection was stone dead by 10 PM, and I didn’t have any other options. How the hell did we ever manage to get through an election night before the internet? Never again!


36 Responses to “Media Meanderings”

  1. David Says:

    Since I watch Fox News throughtout the night I missed all the reactions of the “objective” media talking heads on ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN, so it is interesting to hear people discribe their varying states of dismay, disbelief, and, finally, surrender.

    I should have taped them . . .

    Oh yeah, I agree with the botox comment on Susan . . . I was wondering why she looked so different and I just realized it is because she sent her face out to be cleaned and pressed. Too bad they don’t make botox for vocal cords though . . .

  2. Garrett Says:

    “Tell you what: you don’t lecture me about science, and I won’t lecture you about ballet. Deal?”


    Thanks to both Steve and Will for some great coverage. You guys rock, technical difficulties and all.

    Now I need to go get some food. Jim Beam burps are not as pleasant as they might sound.

  3. Sharpshooter Says:

    “Hey, Ron, I’m an aerospace engineer, and I didn’t vote for your guy, either. Tell you what: you don’t lecture me about science, and I won’t lecture you about ballet. Deal?”

    Hell, I’m an ATHEIST and an engineer and I didn’t vote for his guy, either.

  4. Kathleen A Says:

    The best line of morning was at 4am ish when a Democrat (can’t remember who) said Bush won because he ‘torn down his opponent’ – I almost woke the house up I laughed so hard.

    Guess Michael Moore, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and the rest are bummed that their opinion means NOTHING to us.

    Best part: Bush won popular vote higher than even Ronald Reagan. NOW – put that in your pipe and smoke it, Mr. Rather.

  5. Rob Says:

    Susan going back and forth with Brit Hume was like watching Cruella De Ville and Droopy. Or maybe it was all the Paulaner Oktoberfest. At one point I could have sworn Susan’s face locked up just above her left eyebrow. The wife and I talked like her for about 30 min. after she was on.
    “It’s going to be very, very, very difficult for the President to pull this off…”

    As for Ron Reagan’s comments, Will, you are right on. It’s like my reaction to my favorite bands dispensing political opinion- hey Eddie, Dave, Michael, et al- shut up and play that fonky music.

  6. RandMan Says:

    Ronald Prescott Reagan = Tool

    He’s probably too stupid to realize he’s only included on the panel because he’s Pres. Reagan’s liberal son. If his last name wasn’t Reagan, he probably couldn’t get a job as a dog groomer, let alone announcer for televised dog shows.

  7. Owen Says:

    People who believe that science and religion cannot be compatible are just lazy thinkers.

    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio…

  8. Robert Says:

    Why in hell is Susan Estrich even on tv? She’s got a face for radio, a voice for mime, and a sense of humor for a funeral. I flipped aound to the other stations when she was on (excluding CBS, the most untrusted name in tv news). They all did look unhappy. Ha ha.

  9. austin troy Says:

    After Susan Estrich had her exchange with Brit,I said to my wife,I thought Ms.Estrich was drunk from early celebrating.Interestingly,I thought Barnes and Krystol had all but conceded the election to Kerry from the get go.
    Exit polling sure suffered a black eye.

  10. Robin S. Says:

    I’m a Christian with a Computer Engineering degree. How would Ron say that I should vote, I wonder.

    I gave up on watching the elections early on, and tried to stay distracted, but later in the evening, I was on the phone with a friend who kept bursting into laughter at the MSM talking heads as they “tr[ied] to pretend that they’re not biased.”

  11. daven Says:

    Watched Foxnews all night. Annoyed at their inability to get their graphics right. Estrich, what a waste. Juan Williams, I know you are a hard core lib but you were a waste too.

    Barone – good but really hard to follow.

    In general, they kept going to detailed polling statistics that sliced and diced but were extremely hard to relate to.

  12. Spiney Widgmo Says:

    CBS had the best coverage by far. It was ten time funnier than the Daily Show.

  13. daven Says:

    Oh yeah, non-believer with multiple engineering and business degrees. I understand science, Ron the wus doesn’t. He just knows what to say when the strings are pulled.

    How pathetic. I know it is hard to live up to a great mans legend but please try not to be such a snivling moron.

  14. Andrew B Says:

    I know it’s cruel but I did enjoy watching Rather squirm as he tried between 2 and 3 AM to convince himself that he couldn’t call Ohio for the Pres with a 135,00 vote lead after 97% of the vote was counted. I hope he is out on his rear tomorrow. Meanwhile, I have a question: Are ye truly movin’ to old Erin, Mr Redford, or was that just Blarney you were spouting?

  15. Matt Says:

    The craziest thing was seeing how long it took Fox to call PA for Kerry, when he was winning by a huge margin with about half the precincts reporting but a small enough vote total that the only possible conclusion was that it was the (heavily-Democratic) big cities that accounted for the still-unreported precincts.

    I mean, I can understand being gunshy about early calls after Florida 2000, but COME ON!

    But still…an interesting night, right up until I had to go to work. 🙂

  16. Klug Says:

    Yet another scientist for Bush: I am a Ph.D. student in organic chemistry *and* a Baptist. Beat that with a stick, Ron!

  17. Alex Manning Says:

    I am a Brit and you makes me sad. You Americans are idiots. You elected a moron and his bloodthirsty entourage for another 4 years. I know you’d say it’s none of my business, but unfortunately you make it your business to go and invade other countries. In Blair, you have a poodle that would do all your dirty work, and you won’t even throw him a bone. Shame on you. I hope you come to your senses in 4 years time.

  18. Owen Says:

    Thanks Alex, we hope you do too.

  19. huggy Says:

    The word science is overloaded:

    Science as sets of techniques. Usually with a mathematical base.

    Science as a religion with its priesthood.

  20. David Says:

    Alex, you guys have been resentful since we kicked your butts 200 plus years ago. I can understand that . . . no one likes to lose, but damn, man, when are you going to realize what the great Tony Blair already knows . . . that your sorry asses are better off with us that the EU?

  21. Allen H Says:

    Larry King was a hoot on CNN – you could tell he just wanted them to call it if they could so he could go home and go to bed (he put in over SEVEN hours last night, vs. his usual lightweight one-hour interview show). But, he couldn’t even do the math himself so he kept asking “is there ANY way either of ’em can get it WITHOUT OHIO? And they won’t call Iowa for a day, so forget Iowa…”

    Best commentators last night, IMO: David Gergen and Jeff Greenfield. DeeDee Myers wasn’t bad on MSNBC either, but I could only take MSNBC in VERY limited doses with Ron Reagan, and no one could keep their electoral math straight on the MSNBC panel except Myers and Mathews.

  22. DaveP. Says:

    Aww, Alex… we didn’t know you cared.

    We STILL won’t date you though…

  23. Jack Tanner Says:

    Gee Alex, being condescended to by Europussies is really tough to take. what in God’s name would make you think anyone would care what you thought. Thankfully Blair, Howard and other leaders have the guts to stand with us, As for you, who cares what you think.

  24. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Will Collier
    RE: I Wonder….

    ….how this election would have gone if the MSM HAD been unbiased.



  25. Capsu78 Says:

    I really wanted to see Dan have to call up the fat ld to sing!
    And Susan E was asking if “anyone want to take a bet?” on Sunday, so it exceded my expectaions when she was still very, very, very, very certain that she had the inside scoop, and would be doing the happy lap dance on Alan Colmnes tonight.
    I will enjoy watching her over the next few days.

  26. Alex Manning Says:

    Jack, of course you don’t care what I think. I was never in doubt of that. You only care about people who agree with you. Hence your commendation of Blair, Howard, …. As huge and as powerful as the USA is right now, there are 6 billion other people on earth, who do suffer because of your government’s policies.

  27. Dan Says:

    As a helluva aerospace engineer as well I am insulted that you would sully our name by claiming we do science.

    Scientists deduce theories. Engineers turn those theories into something useful.

    I am not a scientist, and never want to be one.

  28. Spitbull Says:


    I suppose it’s nice that the networks are being all super cautious and such by refusing to declare a winner in the Presidential election. This caution is meant to bring back the public’s trust after their eager miscalls in the 2000 election right?


  29. The Key Monk Says:

    Election Breakdown had the best coverage bar none on raw data and up-to-the-minute vote counts including county-by-county trends and updates for each state. I clicked over to others before settling on CNN: – a bit slow and reloads on the races were no…

  30. chriss Says:

    Alex, as of July 3, 1776 every single human being on earth lived under tyranny (while England had a parliamentary system every person’s horizons were dictated at birth). Since the U.S. became the first country to truly embody the philosophies of the great Scottish thinkers, billions of people have been freed to live fuller, better lives. We have saved Europe from self destruction twice. Our foreign aid is immense. Because of our ideals and economic system a much smaller percentage of the world’s population lives in constant fear of disease, famine and starvation. The average life span is longer, and the average life is immeasurably less miserable and brutal. We are not perfect, and the world is not perfect. But would you rather live on earth pre-US independence or post-US independence? The UK is a wonderful place, but there would be no post world wars UK without our vigilant help and defense. You’re welcome.

    As for the press coverage, here is my favorite moment on ABC.
    Jennings: Let’s go to Dean Reynolds at the Kerry/Edwards street party in Boston.
    Reynolds: … the Kerry people are shocked to have lost Ohio.
    Jennings: Actually, sorry to put you in an awkward position, Dean, but we haven’t called Ohio yet.
    Reynolds: Well, everyone else has and the Kerry people do have TVs.


  31. Brian Says:

    Computer Electronics Technician/Fiber Optic Installer Christian for Bush! w00t! “You elected a moron and his bloodthirsty entourage for another 4 years.” yes, and along with his administration and British troops (as well as Australian, Polish, etc.) removed much bloodier entourages in Afghanistan and Iraq. A fair trade, IMO.

  32. Klug Says:

    Alex: I think the Chinese would claim that they cause their 1.1 billion to suffer all by themselves. I suggest to you that next time you have the chance, defeat Blair and you will feel better. Enjoy.

  33. Robin S. Says:

    “I am a Brit and you makes me sad. You Americans are idiots.”

    I am an American, and you MAKE me laugh.

    Sorry, I don’t think much of those who would deride my intelligence while making grammatical errors that any five-year-old could avoid.

  34. NF Says:

    I don’t know what Stephen found wrong with CNN. They had Larry King, James Carville, Tucker Carlson, Novak, and Wolffff Blitzerrrr! It was funny as heck. Better than real comedy!

    I liveblogged the election night on my weblog, and a few of my favorite moments of CNN coverage are written there.

  35. Says:

    Bush Revolution

    What a crazy past 36 hours. Thankfully, not so crazy as four years ago. I stayed up late into the night watching the news and watching the blogs, waiting for the final decision. When commentators started talking about provisional…

  36. Yumper Says:

    Let us hear it for the:

    ABC / NBC / CBS Evening Views

    CNN World Views

    The New York Times / Los Angelos Times Viewspapers

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