By Scott Feschuk - Thursday, November 8, 2012 - 0 Comments
Election night, U.S.A., 2012: Democracy? Check. Hyperbole? CHECK! But where, oh where, were the dazzling technological innovations in broadcast coverage?
Four years ago, the guy from the Black Eyed Peas appeared via hologram for an interview on CNN. Surely this election season would produce nothing less than a trio of Anderson Cooper clones being attended to by a robot butler. Surely by now the technology would exist to beam up an actual live person from a spaceship or, at minimum, make James Carville not look like he just wandered in from the set of The Walking Dead.
Or maybe CNN spent all its money this time around on a robust supply of exclamation marks for Wolf Blitzer: “We are about to make a really major projection! . . . These are ACTUAL numbers coming in! . . . WOW, THE NUMBERS JUST CHANGED AS WE! WERE! LOOKING! AT! THEM!!!!” Believe me, if Election Night 2012 proved nothing else, it proved that Wolf Blitzer is amazed by numbers suddenly becoming other numbers. “Wow,” he said, more than once. “WOW!” Continue…
By Scott Feschuk - Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 10:59 AM - 0 Comments
It’s hard to believe the U.S. election campaign is almost over—it feels like it began only two or three eons ago. In the time since Mitt Romney launched his 2012 candidacy, the seasons have changed, toddlers have reached puberty, gases and dark matter have come together to form the seeds of untold future galaxies and Lady Gaga has had, like, three different hairstyles. Most people now can’t wait for Nov. 6, which will mark the final day of this campaign and the only day Wolf Blitzer won’t talk about the next one.
By this point in the process, Mitt and Barack are like in-laws who’ve come to town, done the tourist thing, doted on the grandkids and now you desire nothing more than for them to get the hell out of your house. We just want our bathroom back, guys.
But before that glorious day could come, we needed to get through the Continue…
By Emily Senger - Monday, October 22, 2012 at 11:59 AM - 0 Comments
Long-time journalist and CBS Face The Nation host Bob Schieffer will moderate the final…
Long-time journalist and CBS Face The Nation host Bob Schieffer will moderate the final presidential debate, and if reaction to the first three debates are any indication, he’ll need to draw on all his years of experience to get through it and come out unscathed.
Schieffer already has two presidential debates under his belt, in 2004 and 2008, writes Politico’s Dylan Byers, and when he moderates his third “he will do so with two candidates who have shown no qualms about riding roughshod over their moderators and disobeying the very ground rules their own campaigns agreed to honour.”
Not only have President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoken longer than their allotted time and disobeyed previous moderators, those moderators can’t escape criticism about how they did, or didn’t, enforce the rules that both candidates seemed so intent on breaking.
Debate No. 1 was moderated by long-time PBS News Hour host Jim Lehrer, who came under fire for being too soft on the candidates and for asking vague questions. If the public criticism wasn’t enough, Romney also told Lehrer, in his now infamous quote, that he loved Big Bird, but was ready to cut all federal funding to PBS.
Next up, ABC’s Martha Raddatz had the task of keeping Vice-president Joe Biden and Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan on topic. While Raddatz’s performance was generally praised, some Republicans, including former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, said Raddatz had a liberal bias, and was too hard on Ryan.
Perhaps taking criticism of Lehrer and debate No. 1 into account, CNN chief political correspondent Candy Crowley was ready to enforce the rules when she moderated the second town-hall-style debate between the candidates. But Crowley’s attempt to fact-check Romney for his incorrect claim that President Barack Obama did not refer to the consulate attack in Benghazi as an “act of terror” drew attacks from conservatives, even prompting CNN to clarify “The truth about what Candy Crowley said,” on its website.
Over at Poynter, researchers try to put some numbers behind all these accusations of bias, and a report cites a study that shows both Crowley and Raddatz did interrupt the Republican candidate more than the Democrat. Both candidates also cut off moderator Lehrer 30 times during the first debate, the study shows.
By Monday morning, pundits were weighing in on whether Schieffer has what it takes to moderate the final debate, in what is turning into a very close presidential race. Schieffer, meanwhile, was keeping a low profile. New York Times blog The Caucus notes that Schieffer has barely mentioned his important debate role in the lead up to the big day.