Jay Cronley: Stay tuned for the real fun after the debate
BY JAY CRONLEY World Staff Columnist
Friday, October 05, 2012
10/05/12 at 3:05 AM
The only thing more entertaining than a political debate is a review of the media that analyzes the action.
Network television response has become irrelevant. Anchors bail out to take gossip show gigs. It's no wonder mainstay news ships such as "Nightline" have been set adrift into the moonlight hour after Jimmy Kimmel.
After a major political event such as a debate, it's great fun to flip from one cable news channel to the next for some laughs.
It's the altitude, stupid: The main MSNBC panel appeared to have just heard that the Detroit Lions were moving to Shanghai.
Between the end of the debate and the onset of live coverage, there was no time for anybody to have asked, "How bad was what we just saw?"
Live coverage clicked in immediately after the family hugs.
Clearly, the Obama Channel couldn't believe that the president had forgotten what he had learned in Debate 101: Don't look down for 90 minutes.
MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who considers himself to be a leading wordsmith among the media drones, was so unnerved and flabbergasted with the debate that he began analyzing at warp speed and more or less accused the president of being unprepared and, even more appalling, uncommunicative.
Matthews became so unhinged with the president's B-movie performance that some of his harshest criticism was run on the Fox channel!
Other MSNBC operatives searched quietly for gems between the lines of Obama's underwhelming performance, which Al Gore attributed, seriously, to the Denver altitude.
Such good fortune: Fox seemed unable to believe its good luck.
It was like the momentary quiet in the eye of the chaos that follows something like Appalachian State defeating Michigan at football. Fans with big eyes and wide grins looked from one to another as if to wonder: Did we really just score again on those people?
Sean Hannity was to come on later, beaming as though he had just inherited a fortune.
Fox didn't have to begin a single story with, "Yeah, but."
CNN appears to be trying to reinvent itself as the last objective media bastion and has thrown itself into the presentation of nutty maps and multidimensional pie charts that show the preferences of ambidextrous voters working two or more jobs.
Who won the television coverage? Same as always: the viewer who knows humor when he or she sees it.
Original Print Headline: Stay tuned for the real fun after the debate