1) Media Matters on media coverage of conventions and campaigns.
An Olympic-sized opportunity missed (Jameson Foser's new column at Media Matters). Pretty much a solid excoriation of the media coverage of the conventions (and of politics in general), where they go for the cheap "scandal" or "controversial issue" rather than the in-depth coverage of platform issues and how they affect Americans.
Two good parts:
Tuesday night, 26 million viewers watched Hillary Clinton's speech, nearly as many as the 27 million U.S. viewers NBC's Olympics coverage averaged per night. More than 38 million people watched Barack Obama's speech Thursday night -- more than watched the Olympics opening ceremony, the final American Idol, and the Academy Awards this year.
Wow. That's just a wow. And they say Americans aren't interested in real politics, just in celebrity scandal.
TOOBIN: My God, we fixate on these ridiculous little things.
A quote from Jeffrey Toobin and Carl Bernstein taking Soledad O'Brien to task for the media coverage. And they're right.
Media Matters is dead right. Fueled by the success of "celebrity scandal" coverage, media covers politics much the same, going for surface controversy rather than depth. I atttribute it to "if it bleeds, it leads" philosophy as well as cost-cutting leading to less ability to do any in-depth work.
2) Salon Magazine on Sarah Palin, McCain's VP nominee.
Palin: A "maverick" move or a nod to the GOP base?
John McCain's female card
Should Obama have picked Hilary?
Dobson says he'll vote for McCain-Palin
McCain's Palin pick is the epitome of tokenism
My take on this: Palin is young, female, and has blue-collar roots. She's the anti-McCain! She also appeals to several key hard-core Republican constituencies, specifically on the topics of God, Guns, (Abortion) and Gays. I think Salon is very right to call it tokenism, because it's essentially the Republicans saying "Hey you disgruntled ladies, we've got a girl on the ticket. Vote for us!"
Barbara Boxer makes a good point: What was wrong with Senator Olympia Snowe or Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison?
As for who plays Palin on SNL, she looks like Tina Fey but she sounds like Julia Sweeney. Maybe they'll both come back to SNL for this one. We can only hope.