By Darren Johnson
Little frustrates me more than the pundits on the “news” triumvirate channels CNN/MSNBC/Fox News. They are spinning, and not really being honest. Who knows what side connections they have, either Democratic or Republican, but they obviously aren’t paid to be genuine.
So I will attempt to be that voice of reason. I’m a political independent and ran a third party for awhile, so don’t have a dog in this fight. Plus, I write TV reviews for this newspaper, and these political events are made-for-TV.
The Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia has by far been the better production, compared to last week’s Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland.
The RNC had dark lighting, very amateurish and unknown speakers, little star power and the audience looked totally bored at times. They usually left early, before the speakers were done. There was no real drama, as the people who hated Trump within the party (John McCain, Mitt Romney, the Bushes, etc.) just didn’t show. The second-run candidates, like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, were never all that likeable to begin with, and did not have a following to attend/protest the convention. The speeches all seemed stilted, even Donald Trump’s, and the little video intros were infomercialesque. Plus, Cleveland is kind of a down and out town, without much symbolism there.
Meanwhile, the DNC has all the Democrats’ big stars — Joe Biden, Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, you name it; love them or hate them, they do have magnetism — plus the huge Bernie Sanders contingent is very youthful and fervent. That they are allowed to be as present as they are perhaps shows that the Democrats do better embrace free speech, as the party often gets the rap of being too politically correct. Sanders’ speech was a dramatic capper to a great first night. Add in normally blue comedian Sarah Silverman and her ad lib condemning the “Bernie or Bust” folks, and a blast from the past as Paul Simon took the stage, singing a very long “Bridge Over Troubled Water” as the Sanders and Hillary Clinton folks swayed arm and arm; plus, add the bright lighting, colorful decorations and beauty and historical significance of the city of Philadelphia, and the Dems are providing the much better TV production. I’m sure the ratings will confirm that.
A lot of people will claim it’s a liberal media bias as to why the DNC will perform better statistically than the RNC did, but, really, the DNC just has more talent to pull from — from its own politicians, Hollywood and the music industry — to put on a better show.
Whether that translates into more votes in November, in this age where the much-more-negative Internet is now stronger than TV, remains to be seen.
But, if one wants to be a part of history, it’s better for his or her legacy to put out a great media product — now. Which convention will people look back on in 10, 20, 100 years?
Darren Johnson writes the “It’s New to You!” column.