I knew Tuesday night was going to be a nerve wracking evening for me, so like my usual self I avoided the gravity of the situation by choosing to analyze something. What can I say? It keeps me busy.
There were some key things I wanted to pay attention to in the coverage of the election on three networks in particular. CNN, Fox, and MSNBC. These networks have different target audiences, and each would tell a different tale of what was going on that night. Fox, of course wants to reach right wing conservatives, whereas MSNBC (and Maddow in all her wonder) are going for a much more diverse, liberal, and equally excited audience. I have found CNN to be more of a journalistic approach to current events, though it has its own form of bias as well.
Below, just for fun, is my analysis of a few aspects of the evening’s coverage, and an overall winner in broadcasting for the whole election day.
Fox, aiming to reach the most Republicans, covered many more Republican key races than the other two networks. They were watching closely the race between Todd Akin (R) and Claire McCaskill (D), to see whether Akin could get away with his outrageous remarks challenging the legitimacy of rape claims. Akin was called on by many conservative politicians and talk show hosts to remove himself from the race immediately after the controversial interview in which he made the remarks was released.
Another reason I was so excited to watch the news last night was because I knew as soon as it looked like one of the two candidates was losing, I wanted to switch to the respective news channel and watch whichever side freak out. Noble, I know. This turned out to be Fox, and I do say, that Charles Krauthamer looked like he was about to cry. And they just let him keep going on and on. Also, Karl Rove is a numbers genius, and it was very interesting to hear him give statistics and their significance. Too bad it didn’t work out for him so well, huh? I digress…
MSNBC. Precious home of Al Sharpton, Chris Matthews, and the for-some-reason irresistible Rachel Maddow. Hospital for liberals. If the president looked to be losing at any point, this would have become my camping ground for the evening, but most times I switched to the station during the evening they were broadcasting a watch party or victory speech. It was a nice angle to cover the election from, but just not one I was as interested in seeing. Also, it was humorous watching the Reverend Shaprton find examples of racism so easily.
The Winner: CNN
CNN is next, but it is also my “overall winner” of the evening coverage. I’ll explain why I feel they did best. First off, it was ridiculously difficult for me to keep track of the election itself on the other two channels. Fox and MSNBC were breaking to show interviews at polling locations and live feeds of watch parties, but CNN tended to stay focused on the overall picture much more than they did.
It was easiest to know where the presidential race stood watching CNN, because they had the numbers prominently displayed throughout coverage and immediately broke the results as soon as states’ polls closed. Not that the other stations did not get to the results. Fox, for example might have finished a thought or conversation, whereas CNN interrupted mid-sentence to break to the results all nicely displayed on their cool TV screens. Also Wolf Blitzer and John King had some kind of magic in their connection. I know this might have been hard to watch for Romney supporters, but you’ve got to admit if you watched it that they were on their game. Did I mention that Election Day is like political Christmas?
CNN also beat the other networks in actual viewers, and was the only cable network to exceed the viewership CBS news.
My Postmortem Of The Outcome
All in all, I am pretty disappointed about the results, but not as much about the presidency as you might think. I was focused on a number of statewide races (in Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and even Michigan. Also Colorado and New Hampshire.), while the presidency was a sort of equally important event. Am I disappointed that Romney lost the election? Yes, I am, because I felt we had at least a shot at getting some sort of fiscal sense in the White House. But let’s be honest, neither President Obama nor his now former challenger had any real solution for fixing our spending problems. I will go into this more in my next piece (hopefully tomorrow!), but now is not the time to argue campaign plans. We have a real fiscal cliff that is coming and Congress now has to make some tough decisions. Like it or not, Barack Obama is the President of the United States for the next four years.
But tomorrow I feel it necessary to address why I feel the GOP and its talking heads are not admitting the reasons they lost this election. It is vital to the party’s survival that they do, so why do they choose to make excuses? You don’t want to miss tomorrow. 🙂SHARE