Monday, August 27, 2012

Political conventions should be cancelled

With Hurricane Isaac veering north towards New Orleans on the 7th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, both political parties should cancel their respective conventions.

Why?  It's not fair for media coverage to have most of your news staff in Tampa Bay or Charlotte while cities like New Orleans will need that weather coverage on the air.  It would not be fair for those of us wanting to watch coverage of Isaac having to deal with politicians or their spouses delivering a speech in primetime.

The National Journal is reporting that the RNC could be cut down to maybe even one day.  One of the worst-case scenarios includes a quick roll call and truncated speech.  We shall see what happens.  All eyes, for the time being, should be on the Gulf Coast rather than Tampa Bay.

If C-SPAN wants to offer 24/7 convention coverage, fine by me.  However, the cable news networks should be devoting their attention to the hurricane.  It's the right thing to do.  Politico has already reported that CNN is sending Anderson Cooper and Soledad O'Brien to New Orleans.  I hope the other networks follow in their path shortly.  They are not the only ones as Politico reported.

NBC's plan:
Brian (Williams) is staying in Tampa for now. Lester Holt, who is already in New Orleans after traveling after Nightly last night, will lead our coverage there -- which includes Gabe Gutierrez and Tamron Hall, and the full resources of The Weather Channel, including Jim Cantore who is also already in NOLA.

ABC's plan:
We are closely monitoring the storm's path. Diane Sawyer will anchor "World News" from Tampa Bay tonight with the latest reporting on Isaac from our extreme weather team inside the storm zone. ABC News weather editor Sam Champion will report from NOLA. ABC News meteorologist Ginger Zee will report from the Mississippi Gulf coast. Matt Gutman is reporting from Key West. Cecilia Vega is also reporting from Tampa. 
There is no word at the moment as to what CBS News will do but I am sure that they will send somebody to the Gulf Coast.

The Boston Globe's Glen Johnson speaks the truth at heart:
Consider for a moment the juxtaposition of President Obama marshaling his administration’s forces and personally visiting New Orleans or Mobile, Ala., in the aftermath of the storm’s landfall, all while the convention hall is filled with delegates dressed in funny hats listening to partisan speeches.

Consider, too, the practical reality of the public and news media being forced to choose between watching a staged political event or coping with the aftermath of a natural disaster.
As for the Democratic Party's plans next week in Charlotte, I don't think the mood will be as festive.

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