Wow! Watching an event on TV without commercials. And without gatekeepers. Yes, I watched the Republican convention on the internet.
No interruptions. No commentators telling me what I was hearing and seeing. What a relief! Prominent politicians performed. And I got to watch them. Period.
I didnít need experts to tell me if this guy has a problem with blacks/whites/independents/women/dogs and cats/plumbers/gays/barkeepers. I didnít need them to suggest the party trots out this person or that person for this reason or that reason.
The commentary, of course, is the main ingredient in what big networks dole out to you. The commentators believe you tune in to watch them. To hear them. To hear their views. They believe you are far more interested in their views than the views of the politicians.
This is why they interrupt various speakers. They swing cameras onto their own mugs when various politicians are speaking. They figure they know what is best for you.
Some media folks still insist there is no bias in what networks feed you. They say this after injecting their faces with Super Glue. To keep from smirking and rolling their eyes. Networks used to make an effort to disguise their bias. No more. They seem to be proud of it. It laces their comments and questions.
As bad, they show their bias by what they omit. Some networks avoided the speeches by Republican governors from swing states. Avoided them. As if they never happened. Why? Because they donít want viewers in those states to be swayed toward Republican candidates.
Some networks avoided speeches by minorities. They simply refused to let you see and hear these speakers. Well, that is because their bias tells them the Republicans are lily white. They cannot afford to let you see that perhaps that is not the case.
It is nice to have a bit of commentary now and again. But it is more pleasant to watch an event without it. Networks will never allow it.
It would be nice to watch presidential debates without the networks imposing their stars upon us. You know, the big-name moderators. These stars feel we tune in to watch how clever they will be with their questions. The candidates? They are merely the fodder. They help the stars look good.
These stars come from nightly news programs, of course. Where their contracts call for their faces to appear so many minutes per newscast. True. Each show must feature them for a certain number of minutes. Regardless of what the news is. There is little reason to believe their contracts for the conventions are any different.
In other words, twelve minutes per hour of one of the stars is more important than what a political figure may be saying. It is more important to the network. Because their contracts with the stars call for those 12 minutes.
We have the same situation in sports, of course. Commentators figure you want to hear and see them more than you want to see the game.
Watching sport on European TV is a pleasure. For many big games and matches, commentators shut up. And there are no commercials. Divine! You get to watch an event as it happens. Without someone intoning that ďÖthat was a big mistakeÖĒ
Well, if you find the right spot on the internet you can watch the blood sport of politics without the commentary. Try it with the next convention. And with the debates. You might prefer it.
From Tom ... as in Morgan.
For more columns and for Tomís radio shows and new TV shows (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com.