Monday, November 07, 2016

A season for returns

The NYT says the networks are worried: they're all ready for the big election night,
But as television news gears up for 2016’s big finale, an intense public distrust in the media is threatening the networks’ traditional role as election night scorekeeper.

I watched election returns one night years ago. I have not been tempted to try the exercise again. From one quarter hour to the next the changes were small, and misleading without the "Well, this district usually votes Republican, and this one includes the cemetery and votes the other way" explanations.

It's not like watching a ball game, with dramatic offense and defense and obvious skill. It's pretty abstract, and slow, and unless you believe that your intense stare will help your side win, nothing you do matters anymore.

Part of problem is commentary. They don't say it in so many words, but "Why do you think the people of Kansas are so stupid?" or excitedly "Look, the good guys are winning!"

The next day will be good enough--or, in the case of the Presidential election, bad enough. I'm not going to be happy no matter who wins that one. (*)

Donald Sensing proposes to leave the radio and TV off, and watch a move that night. Good advice. I've a little project I should attend to...

(*) Looking at the polls, I strongly suspect that the machine will successfully get out the vote for Hillary. Looking at the lawn signs, I see 3:1 Hillary:Trump in hard left Dane county (!), and O(10:1) in the countryside. But I think that just reflects lack of enthusiasm; they'll vote for the party when the time comes.

3 comments:

RichardJohnson said...

Part of problem is commentary. They don't say it in so many words, but "Why do you think the people of Kansas are so stupid?" or excitedly "Look, the good guys are winning!

No, not in so many words, but it is there. For a number of elections I voted Third Party. As someone who voted Third Party, I was neutral towards Neither of the Above, a.k.a. Demos or Pubs. As a neutral person, I noticed after an election Reagan had won,that the NPR announcer had a VERY condescending tone towards Reagan and the Republicans.

After that I stopped listening to NPR news.

Mark Anderson said...

My goal is to see how long I can put off learning who won. I'll know sooner than I'll care to

Mark Anderson said...

My goal is to see how long I can put off learning who won. I'll know sooner than I'll care to