Tuesday, January 8, 2008
As my fellow "Nose" writer Lisa would agree, there is never a shortage of great things to write about in the world of television. We generally write about programs that capture our imaginations,
but here we take a moment to note the tremendous build of excitement being generated over the US Presidential elections, 2008. The interest in the political process, as US citizens attempt to sort it all out and exercise one of their most important rights (voting) is reaching a fevered pitch, and it is effecting all media news, whether TV, Internet, radio or the struggling (and still important) paper press. As the two past primary elections in Iowa and New Hampshire have so amazingly demonstrated, the races on both sides of the political arena are incredibly close. And the viable candidates represent a new spectrum of diversity that is generally not seen in a US presidential election. The prospect has left all the media pundits salivating. There is more posturing, hypothesizing, and flashing red/white/blue graphics on TV right now than you can shake a stick at. But mixed in with all the hysteria and glee, is also an element of hope. Hope that people are actually watching and caring, as this all important political process unfolds. And TV is covering it on every possible pipeline: local news, broadcast news (for the over 80 set), cable news and PBS. If you miss your favorite television coverage, the web is there to provide you with an instant recap, 24 hours a day and on demand.
I have two people in my own world, who are utterly captivated by the upcoming election, and both will be first time voters in America. One is my son, who will turn 18 just in time to cast his very first vote in a US Presidential election. The other is a co-worker, who has just become a new US citizen in 2007. They are just the tip of the interest surge, but beneath the waves, an entire iceberg of jaded American voters is just beginning to thaw. US politics are suddenly (wonderfully) hot and important for everyone. Television news producers take note. Take advantage. I think it will continue. Who would have imagined, that the writer's strike could have such an impact? It just might be responsible for the biggest voter turnout in US history. When there is nothing else on TV, it turns out American viewers love politics after all.